Citizenship Applications Go into Overload in April

For U.S. citizens hopefuls, the month of April means more than spring blooms: It is the month of U.S. visa applications.

For the coveted 65,000 H-1B visas and the 20,000 advanced degree-awarded visas, more than 22,000 petitions have already been submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services offices for the 2013 fiscal year. While this figure may seem small, these numbers are the collected total over a four-day period; the H-1B program only started accepting applications on April 2, according to the Press Trust of India.

When compared to figures from only two years ago, these numbers are astounding: During the first week of the H-1B process in 2010, 13,500 petitions were collected, the PTI reported.

With so much competition for the small number of openings, many individuals will want to give themselves as much of a competitive edge as they can. To assist newly immigrated individuals with their visa and citizenship applications, several resources have been created. The City University of New York and the Daily News Citizenship are offering a hotline for the 10th annual CUNY/Daily News Citizenship NOW! event, which runs from April 23 until April 27. Volunteers, supervised by law experts, will be able to answer all tricky citizenship and visa questions, giving individuals a better chance to make their own applications flawless, according to the New York Daily News.

The National Partnership for New Americans launched a new campaign this year to assist newly immigrated residents and U.S.-citizenship hopefuls with getting all of their applications for visas and citizenship applications out on time. To be ready to assist individuals with the number of immigration applications deadlines in April and June, NPNA launched Become a Citizen Now! on March 24, and is in the process of training more than 1,000 new citizenship coaches across the country.