We provide (now-virtual) citizenship, DACA renewal, and healthcare services for low-income Asian Americans, in Korean, Vietnamese, and English. These programs are funded in part by the Fairfax County Consolidated Community Funding Pool.
Citizenship Applications & DACA Renewals
Our team of staff, volunteers, lawyers, and certified professionals can assist with completing and reviewing your N-400 application for naturalization (citizenship), as well as screening for fee waivers.
Also, reminder that DACA has been restored! We provide free support with DACA renewal applications. For initial DACA applications, we can connect you with legal services that can help you. DACA and accompanying work permits will last for 2 years.
To make an appointment or to ask questions about the naturalization process or DACA renewals, contact Sejung (firstname.lastname@example.org or 571-519-6939) or fill out the request form below.
Health & Dental Services Referrals
All services are free and limited to Virginia residents. We have trained staff who can help with:
- ACA / Obamacare applications
- Medicaid & FAMIS applications
- Low-cost dental & primary care referrals
The next Open Enrollment Period begins November 1, 2021 and ends January 15, 2022. Medicaid/FAMIS applications are available year-round.
To make an appointment with us, email email@example.com, call 703-256-2208, TTY 711, or fill out the request form below.
Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) - Citizenship
How do I become a US citizen?
1. Find out if you are eligible for naturalization (see question below).
2. Fill out the application, prepare all supporting documents, and send them to USCIS with the fee.
3. Wait for the USCIS Notice for a biometrics appointment. The appointment will be at a USCIS “Application Support Center” near you.
4. Go to the Naturalization Interview and take the Civic and English exams.
5. Take the Oath.
Do I qualify for citizenship?
To qualify for citizenship, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be a permanent resident (have a green card) for at least:
- 5 years, or
- 3 years if you are married to a US citizen.
- Read, write and speak basic English; and
- Understand basic US civics.
Do I have to know English?
You have to be able to read, speak, listen and write English. However, the purpose of the English test is not to prove that you are perfectly fluent in English.
You are exempt from the English test (but must still take the civic test) if you are:
- 50+ years old and have lived as a Permanent Resident (aka green card holder) in the US for 20+ years, or
- 55+ years old and have lived as a Permanent Resident in the US for 15+ years.
You may take the civic test in your native language, but you must bring an interpreter fluent in both English and your native language with you to your interview. Permanent Residents who are 65+ years old and have lived in the US for 20+ years will get special consideration regarding the civics test. See this webpage for more information about exemptions.
Unfortunately, we do not have staff or volunteers available and trained to provide interpretation services during naturalization interviews.
If you would like to take English classes, see question in the Other section below: “Where can I take English classes?”
How much does it cost to apply for citizenship?
US citizenship application fee: $640
See question below to see how you can qualify for reduced fees and fee waivers for the application fee.
Biometric fee (not required for applicants 75+ years old): $85
Can I get a fee waiver or request a reduced fee?
Citizenship application fee discounts are for low-income families between 150% and 200% of the federal poverty levels. If you are eligible, you will receive a $320 discount on your citizenship application fee. For more information on the reduced fee request, visit the USCIS site here.
The full fee of $725 is waived if the applicant’s household income level is less than 150%. of the federal poverty line. For more information on the fee waiver, visit the USCIS site here.
You must submit an application to request a reduced fee or fee waiver. Check your eligibility for a full or partial fee waiver on this webpage.
How long does this process take?
Check this webpage to find out the processing time for your case.
We cannot provide you with a conclusive timeline of when you will be notified; we only assist with the application and do not directly have influence over approval/rejection. If your application is rejected, we can discuss next steps.
What is included in Hamkae Center's citizenship service?
We check for eligibility conditions for citizenship applications. Our services include:
- Filling out the application – We can help guide you to retrieve missing information or documents, but you must provide all required information and materials so that we can help you fill out your application.
- Legal review of citizenship applications – Immigration lawyers or DOJ-accredited professionals will review your application.
We will guide you to register your application with the Immigration Bureau after having completed all the above.
If you would like to request our virtual services, you must have an active email account.
What do I need to provide for naturalization?
Before we can assist you in filling out your application, you must complete with us an intake form and an eligibility screening, and sign a “Limited retainer for naturalization application legal assistance via the New Americans Campaign”.
Once we receive that information, we will request scanned copies of your green card, passport, and ID. If you are eligible for a fee waiver, we may also ask you to send a copy your tax refund from the previous year.
Who will submit the application to USCIS?
All applications must be submitted directly by the applicant.
Does Hamkae Center's citizenship service have a fee?
Yes, we charge $25 for each individual we assist with the application.
Does Hamkae Center offer legal services?
Our services include a legal review of your applications, but we don’t provide direct legal assistance.
Susan Pineda is our DOJ/BIA-accredited legal representative.
Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) - Healthcare & Dental
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities.
What does Medicaid cover?
Medicaid covers in-patient and out-patient hospital services, physician services, laboratory and x-ray services, home health services, dental services, and more.
Optional benefits include services such as prescription drugs, case management, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
Will I be impacted by Public Charge if I get Medicaid?
No – in Virginia, you need a green card/legal permanent resident (LPR) status to get Medicaid. Public Charge only impacts people applying for green card/LPR status.
What are the eligibility requirements for VA?
You must be ALL of the below:
- a resident of the state of VA
- a U.S. national, citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien
- in need of health care/insurance assistance
- low-income or very low-income.
You must also be AT LEAST ONE of the following:
- Be responsible for a child 18 years of age or younger
- Have a disability or a family member in your household with a disability
- 65 years of age or older
When I am enrolled in Medicaid, how long am I on it?
You are enrolled in Medicaid for as long as you are eligible, but you must renew continuously (see next question).
Do I have to renew my Medicaid? What is the process?
Medical Assistance coverage must be reviewed at least once every 12 months to determine continued eligibility for coverage. If this annual review is not completed, coverage may be canceled.
Sometimes, your eligibility may be reviewed for another 12 months without the worker contacting you. If the local DSS is able to renew Medical Assistance coverage with information known to the agency or available from electronic sources, you will receive a notice telling you the coverage has been reviewed and the date of your next annual renewal.
You can also renew your coverage online by visiting the CommonHelp website or over the phone by calling Cover VA at 1-855-242-8282.
Can I go to a doctor of my choice with Medicaid?
Not every doctor accepts Medicaid patients; contact them to ask before making an appointment.
Does Hamkae Center's healthcare service have a fee?
Dental referrals: $50. This covers the hold and payment for your services at the Northern Virginia Dental Clinic.
What is FAMIS?
FAMIS, a.k.a. “child Medicaid”, is Virginia’s health insurance program that makes health care affordable for children from eligible families. It covers all the medical care that growing children need to avoid getting sick, plus the medical care that will help them if they do get sick or get hurt.
What is FAMIS Plus?
FAMIS Plus provides medical coverage for low-income children who may have other health care coverage.
What is FAMIS Moms?
FAMIS Moms provides health care coverage for pregnant people.
What do I get under Medicaid if I am pregnant?
When you are enrolled in Medicaid for pregnancy, you get comprehensive health care benefits during your pregnancy and postpartum coverage for 12 months after childbirth.
Postpartum coverage will also be extended to those who have given birth more than 60 days ago but not more than 12 months ago. If you are eligible for postpartum coverage, you may enroll in Medicaid or CHIP to receive the extended postpartum coverage from the time you enroll to 12 months after you had given birth.
You also receive dental benefits during your pregnancy coverage. Dental services are administered through the Smiles For Children program.
What are the dental benefits?
Dental services focus on prevention and restoration. They include the following:
- Diagnostic: x-rays, exams
- Preventive: cleanings
- Restorative: fillings
- Endodontics: root canals
- Periodontics: gum related treatment
- Prosthodontics: crowns, partials, dentures
- Oral surgery: extractions and other oral surgeries
- Adjunctive general services: all covered services that do not fall into specific dental categories
Bridges are not covered. Orthodontic services, such as braces, are not included.
Who is eligible for dental benefits?
Adults age 21 and older who are enrolled in Medicaid or FAMIS qualify for these dental benefits.
When do the dental benefits start?
The new comprehensive dental benefits begin on July 1, 2021.
How will I know if my application has been accepted? How long will it take?
Wait for the letter – Medicaid will send out a letter and give you the date you can expect coverage to start.
Look online – When submitting your application online, the website will create an account for you. Log into your account and check your status.
Call the Medicaid Office – The paperwork that you receive from your state’s Medicaid office will have a phone number that you can call to check the status of your application. You may ask for interpretation service during the call, free of charge.
Go to the Medicaid Office – One big advantage of visiting your local office is that you can make any corrections to your application there, if needed. Note that they may be busy.
Since we only assist with applications, we do not have direct influence over approval/denial; thus, we do not know when you may be approved. If you are denied a service, let us know and we can discuss next steps and information on how to connect with the Medicaid office directly, especially if you have concerns about language barriers or the information on your application.
Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) - Other
Are Hamkae Center's offices open?
Due to COVID-19, our Centreville and Annandale offices remain closed. Services are conducted virtually.
Those with special circumstances can request an in-person appointment by calling 703-256-2208. We will follow all COVID-19 guidelines (masks, 6 feet apart, sanitizing, etc).
Where can I take English classes?
You can sign up for Columbia College’s VESL (Vocational English as a Second Language) online class. If you need financial aid, you may apply to FAFSA or VASA; see question below.
For more information, contact Joey Moon (firstname.lastname@example.org / 703-206-0508 ext. 311) or Ashley Park (email@example.com / 703-206-0508 ext. 339). Both can speak English and Korean. They can also help you with processing your financial aid.
How can I get financial aid for my college courses?
You can apply to FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid); check to see if you are eligible. If you are ineligible for FAFSA, you can apply instead to VASA (Virginia Alternate Student Aid) for state financial aid; check to see if you are eligible. You should apply to only one of these programs, not both.
Check FAFSA’s site for the final deadline to apply for each academic year; VASA follows the same deadline. Contact your college’s financial aid office for more information, including priority deadlines and scholarships.
For more scholarships, check NAKASEC’s site and this guide for scholarships for Asian American and Pacific Islander students.
Does Hamkae Center assist with Medicare applications?
Not at this time, but we can direct you to the right resource.
Does Hamkae Center assist with applying or filing for unemployment?
No, but we can direct you to the right resource.
Does Hamkae Center assist with scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments?
Any pro-bono immigration attorneys who would like to provide legal review for N-400 and DACA renewal applications can fill out our volunteer form. If you have any questions, contact our Services & Outreach Team Lead, Miae Bok, at firstname.lastname@example.org.