Community Services

We provide (now-virtual) citizenship, DACA renewal, and healthcare services for low-income Asian Americans, in Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, 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 Soyoung (syoon@nakasec.org or 571-325-9336) or fill out the request form below.

e-services request form (English / 한국어 / Tiếng Việt)FAQStoolkit: what to do if your DACA is delayed or expiring

Affordable healthcare & dental 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

If you are currently enrolled in Marketplace health insurance, you will be able to change your plan when Open Enrollment begins again, if you’d like. Note that coverage for any Open Enrollment plan starts on the 1st of the month following your selection; ex. a plan chosen on March 3 and a plan chosen on March 25 will both start on April 1.

To make an appointment with us, email vahealth@nakasec.org, call 703-258-2208, TTY 711, or fill out the request form below.

e-services request form (English / 한국어 / Tiếng Việt)FAQSDownload flyer

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) - Citizenship

How do I become a US citizen?

  1. Find out if you qualify to apply.
  2. Fill out the application, prepare all supporting documents, and send them to USCIS with the fee.
  3. Wait for the USCIS Notice and make 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.

See next questions for details about the qualifications and fees.

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.

How much does it cost to apply for citizenship?

US citizenship application fee: $640

See question below about fee waivers and the reduced fee application.

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.

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 together.

What is included in Hamkae Center's citizenship service?

We check for eligibility conditions for citizenship applications.

Filling out the application – All required information and materials (see question below) must be provided by the applicant, and we will fill out the application with the information provided.

Legal review of citizenship applications – Immigration lawyers or relevant qualified professionals will review the citizenship application.

We will guide you to register your application with the Immigration Bureau after having completed all the above.

If you need virtual service, you must have an active email address.

What do I need to provide for naturalization?

Before we assist you in filling out your N-400 form, we must complete an intake form, eligibility screening, and get your signed “Limited retainer for naturalization application legal assistance via the New Americans Campaign” form.

Once we receive that information, we request that you provide us with scanned copies of your green card, passport, and ID. If you are eligible for a fee waiver (see question below), we request you also send your tax refund for the previous year.

Who will submit the application to USCIS?

All applications must be submitted directly by the applicant.

Does Hamkae Center offer legal help?

Citizenship application assistance service includes legal review, but we don’t provide direct legal help.

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) - Healthcare

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is 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, and home health services, among others.

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:

  • Pregnant
  • Be responsible for a child 18 years of age or younger
  • Blind
  • 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.

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 for two months following your baby’s birth. Medicaid may provide up to 3 months of retroactive coverage.

You also receive dental benefits during your pregnancy coverage. Dental services are administered through the Smiles For Children program.

Can I go to a doctor of my choice with Medicaid?

Not every doctor accepts Medicaid patients; check with them before making an appointment.

One likely reason fewer doctors accept Medicaid patients is that those claims are paid at a lower rate than other insurances. More providers would be interested in Medicaid if the program’s reimbursements were similar to Medicare payments.

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 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.

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

Does Hamkae Center assist with Medicare applications?

Unfortunately, we do not provide Medicare application services at this time.

Does Hamkae Center assist with applying or filling for unemployment?

Unfortunately, we do not provide with applying or filling for unemployment.

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).

Does Hamkae Center assist with scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments?

No, but we can direct you to the right resource or answer any general questions.

Resources

banh mi and civics flash cards
Deokhee Ryu
Noell Evans

Get Involved

If you have any questions or want to volunteer to help our community members at our naturalization clinics, contact our Services & Outreach Team Lead, Miae Bok, at mbok@hamkaecenter.org.