United African Organization

UAO aims to serve as the African Community Resource Clearinghouse wherein constituents gather, access information, share experiences, exchange views, and coordinate organizational capacity development. UAO's hub of resources on this website is intended to assist community members in navigating services, programs and resources that are available to help them cope better in the United States.


A good starting point for information on how to apply for asylum is at the USCIS website.

For more information on how to apply for asylum in the United States, or assistance with the application process, contact the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC). Instructions of how to schedule an appointment at the Center are available in English, Spanish and French.

Petition for Relatives/ Family Members

Many people become lawful permanent residents through family members.

U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents have the right to help certain family members to become lawful permanent residents of the United States by obtaining what is usually referred to as “Green Card”. To do so you need to sponsor your relative and be able to prove that you have enough income or assets to support your relative(s) when they come to the U.S.

Filing the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative form is the first step in petitioning for your family member. This form is to  to establish the relationship between you and the relative(s) who wish to immigrate to the United States.

U.S. citizens can petition for their:

  •  “Immediate Relative”: spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents.
  • Family preference category”:  Unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21, Married child(ren) of any age, Brothers and sisters (if the U.S. citizen petitioner is over the age of 21)
Legal Permanent Residents (LPR/Green card holders) can petition for:

Special Categories of Family:

Individuals who meet particular qualifications and/or apply during certain time frames may be able to become permanent residents.

Click on links provided for information on fiance(e) visas or prospective adopted children.

For the full list of forms or to find out which family members you can petition for, visit USCIS.gov, or click here.

Contact UAO if you have any questions: services@uniteafricans.org or 312-949-9980

Citizenship through Naturalization

Naturalization is the process by which a foreign national is granted U.S. citizenship after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Who qualifies for Naturalization?

  • Legal Permanent Residents or Green card holders for at least 5 years and meet all other eligibility requirements. Find more information here.
  • Legal Permanent Residents or Green card holders for at least 3 years, married to a U.S. Citizen and meet all eligibility requirements. Find out more about Naturalization for Spouses of U.S. Citizens.
  • Military Personnel with qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements.
  • Child of a U.S. citizen who was born outside the U.S., is currently residing outside the U.S., and all other eligibility requirements are met. Read more about Citizenship Through Parents.

Other paths to naturalization can be found at USCIS Policy Manual Citizenship and Naturalization Guidance and A Guide to Naturalization.

NB: You may already be a U.S. citizen and not need to apply for naturalization if your biological or adoptive parent(s) became a U.S. citizen before you reached the age of 18.

Applying for Naturalization

To apply for naturalization, file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Consult with an immigration attorney before applying for naturalization. Citizenship workshops provide opportunities for you to have a free one-on-one consultation with an immigration attorney. Call UAO at 312-949-9980 to find a workshop near you.

Applicants for naturalization must also pass the English, U.S. history and civics test at the Naturalization interview.

Naturalization fee waiver:

  • You or your family receives public benefits (Link, Medicaid, SSI, TANF)
  • Your household income is equal to or less than that listed in the table.
Household Size
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

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Yearly Income
  • $ 16,755
  • $ 22,695
  • $ 28,635
  • $ 34,575
  • $ 40,515
  • $ 46,455
  • $ 52,395
  • $ 58,335

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Fee Waiver Eligible?
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes

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African Country Profiles

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South African Consulate General

South African Consulate General in Chicago

The South African Consulate General in Chicago represents the Government of the Republic of South Africa in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America.

Read more →

Protection for Undocumented Youth, Obama’s new policy

On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced that it would offer many DREAM Act-eligible youths protection from deportation. These youths, whether or not they are currently in deportation proceedings, will be able to apply for “deferred action,” which would temporarily shield them from deportation and enable to live and work legally in the US.

Five criteria to be met

  • They must have come to the US before they turned 16;
  • They must have not yet turned 30 when they apply;
  • They must have continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007, and must have been present in the US on June 15, 2012;
  • They must currently be in school, have received a high school diploma or GED, or been honorably discharged from the US Armed Forces or the Coast Guard;
  • They must not have been convicted of a felony, a “significant misdemeanor,” multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. Anyone applying for deferred action would need to go through a criminal background check.

Anyone who wants to apply should seek help only from immigration attorneys or non-profit organizations that work on immigration matters.

Find a free legal clinic in Chicago where you can get help filing your application.

Scholarship for DREAMers

Read more →

African Diplomatic Contacts

African Diplomatic Contacts.

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Legal Resources and Referrals

National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC)

208 S. LaSalle St.,Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-660-1370 
Appointments: 312-660-1370
Fax: 312-660-1505  

Low-to-moderate income immigrants; immigration matters such as Visa processing, naturalization, deportation defense, asylum; intake by appointment only, Mondays, Wednesdays, and first Saturday of the month 
Centro Romero 6216 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: 773-508-5300
Fax: 773-508-5399
E-mail: romerolegal@aol.com

Immigration assistance to Latino immigrants; walk-ins accepted
Chicago Legal Clinic 2938 E. 91st St.
Chicago, IL 60617
Phone: 773-731-1762
Fax: 773-731-4264
E-mail Address: info@clclaw.org
Web Address: www.clclaw.org
Bankruptcy, guardianship, adoption, domestic violence, landlord/tenant matters, tort defense, contract law, wills, immigration
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services 100 N. LaSalle St.
Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-332-1624
Fax: 312-332-1460
Intake: 312-332-1624
E-mail Address: cvls@cvls.org
Web Address: www.cvls.org
Civil cases, general practice (low income), bankruptcies, divorce, guardianship, adoption, tort defense, collection defense, landlord/tenant
Community Economic Development Law Project 188 W. Randolph
Suite 2103
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-939-3638
Fax: 312-427-6172
E-mail Address: cedlp@aol.com
Web Address: www.cedlp.org
Non-profit community-based organizations focused on housing and economic development, and individuals pursuing small business development with the goal of economic self-sufficiency
Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS) 910 W. Van Buren
Suite 700
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-421-4011
Fax: 312-738-9487
Hotline: 312-738-9200 (English); 312-421-4478 (Español)
E-mail Address: info@carpls.org
Web Address: www.carpls.org
Family law, consumer fraud, landlord/tenant matters, bankruptcy, debt collection cases, garnishments, contract law, housing discrimination, disability law, Medicare/Medicaid cases, elder law, veterans’ matters; intake via hotline 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with hours extended on Wednesday until 7:30 p.m.
DuPage Bar Legal Aid Service 126 S. County Farm Rd.
Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone: 630-653-6212
Fax: 630-653-6317
E-mail Address: las@anet.com
Web Address: users.anet.com
Family law, appellate advocacy, bankruptcy, guardianship, adoption, wills, not-for-profit corporate advice for charities serving low-income persons, tort defense, collection defense, criminal misdemeanor, Social Security cases; 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Lawyers Committee for Better Housing, Inc. 220 S. State St.
Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-347-7600
Fax: 312-347-7604
E-mail Address: lcbh@enteract.com
Web Address: www.lcbh.org
Landlord/tenant matters, unsafe housing, evictions, lockouts, utility shutoffs; potential cases reviewed twice weekly
Legal Aid Bureau of Metropolitan Family Services 14 E. Jackson Blvd.
15th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-986-4015
Fax: 312-986-4016
Intake: 312-986-4200
E-mail Address: contactus@metrofamily.org
Web Address: www.metrofamily.org
Family law services ranging from advice to full litigation; 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago 111 W. Jackson Blvd.
Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-341-1070
Fax: 312-341-1041
E-mail Address: wwinter@lafchicago.org
Web Address: www.lafchicago.org
Family law, public aid matters, Social Security, migrant issues, domestic violence
Life Span Center for Legal Services and Advocacy 20 E. Jackson Blvd.
Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60604 Phone: 312-408-1210
Fax: 312-408-1223
E-mail Address: life-span@life-span.org
Web Address: www.life-span.org
Domestic violence cases (Cook County), divorce, orders of protection, custody cases; intake by phone 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; no walk-ins accepted
Pro Bono Advocates 28 N. Clark St.
Suite 630
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-827-2420
Fax: 312-827-2425
24-Hour: 877-863-6338
E-mail Address: heatherm@probonoadvocates.org
Web Address: www.probonoadvocates.org
Domestic violence cases/civil orders of protection for low-income residents of Cook County; walk-ins accepted from 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday
Uptown Peoples Law Center 4404 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Phone: 773-769-1411
Fax: 773-769-2224
Public aid, disability law, evictions
Will County Legal Assistance Program 5 E. Van Buren St.
Suite 310
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone: 815-727-5123
Fax: 815-727-5152
Civil legal services to low-income and indigent residents of Will County; intake via telephone
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