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Partners Launch Citizenship Application Campaign

September 20, 2023

This press release is available in six languages: Amharic, Chinese, Korean, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

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The Port of Seattle and OneAmerica, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to building power in immigrant and refugee communities, launched a campaign this month to encourage qualified individuals to apply for United States citizenship. The campaign includes social media and video messages to encourage qualified individuals to consider embracing the benefits and responsibilities that come with U.S. citizenship.

Those interested in applying for citizenship can receive free application assistance from volunteer immigration attorneys, paralegals, and interpreters during a daylong Citizenship Day clinic on Saturday, September 30, at Renton Technical College. Eligible legal permanent residents (green card holders) are welcome to participate.

“Our workforce is one of the most diverse, spanning various fields like maritime, aviation, and more. We consistently connect with millions of visitors annually through our global gateways,” said Port Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed. “We are proud to use our best platforms for communicating the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship to immigrants, refugees, and foreign visitors who qualify.”

“OneAmerica has been working with the Port since 2017 to ensure that our immigrant and refugee communities are welcomed and invited to explore economic opportunities in Port-related industries,” said Rosanna Donoso Barredo, Washington New Americans Senior Manager. “We want people to know the benefits of applying for citizenship and that there are free resources to help them along the way."

The partnership between OneAmerica and the Port started in response to the Trump administration’s travel ban. The ban affected entry to the United States for citizens of six (initially seven) countries in the Middle East, impacting refugees and immigrants. In response, the Port of Seattle Commission passed a Welcoming Port resolution, establishing Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) as a safe and welcoming space for all visitors and protecting the rights and quality of life of immigrants, refugees, and foreign visitors.

The resulting Citizenship Campaign continues to feature the same shared goals and information and resources about the pathway to citizenship to help eligible legal permanent residents access the protections, rights, and benefits it provides.

The Port of Seattle recognizes that its operations are made possible by immigrants and foreign visitors. SEA Airport and cruise terminals welcome international travelers visiting the Pacific Northwest. According to census data, as of 2021, roughly one in four (24 percent) of King County residents were foreign-born. Global trade is boosted through partnerships and labor from around the world. Thousands of immigrants work for the Port or for companies that operate in or around our facilities.

You may be eligible to apply for citizenship if you meet the following criteria:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Green card holder for at least five years (three years if married to a U.S. citizen)
  • Continuous residence in the U.S. for at least five years
  • Able to read, write, and speak basic English (exceptions apply)
  • Understanding of U.S. history and government


In 2022, OneAmerica helped over 280 people during Citizenship Day clinics offered throughout the year. Doors to the clinic open at 9:00 a.m.; people are encouraged to come early because the event is first come, first served.

Attendees should bring all required documents, including their permanent resident card. Check this list of required documents. The Washington New Americans Program website provides more information on the workshop and how to prepare.

Two other Citizenship Day clinics are happening on September 30 in Washington state:

  • Pasco, Washington, at Columbia Basin College
  • Sunnyside, Washington, at Nuestra Casa

In addition, travelers in SEA Airport will see new public service announcements (PSAs) featuring Port Commissioners on SEA video monitors; hear an audio message overhead; and see information and resources about applying for citizenship on digital signs. Interested viewers will be directed to the New Americans Campaign website, which identifies local services and support to help them through the naturalization process.

Learn more about applying for U.S. citizenship.


Perry Cooper | Port of Seattle Senior Media Officer
(206) 787-4923 |

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