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HIAS Chicago College Scholarship

100th Anniversary
HIAS Chicago Freedom Grove: Celebrating 100 years of cultivating new lives in America
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News and Announcements

HIAS Chicago Citizenship Classes Offered

HIAS Chicago invites you to our Citizenship Classes to help you prepare for your citizenship interview and exam. 

Classes are taught in English by volunteer teachers.

Please check our Citizenship Preparation Programs page for more information.

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HIAS Chicago is a program of Jewish Child & Family Services and a partner with the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago in serving our community.  

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Information You Can Use


Green Card Through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program: Is this an option for you?

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The DV Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State (DOS).

Click here to

Call HIAS Chicago at 312-357-4666 for more information.


HIAS Chicago Answers Your Questions



Dear HIAS Chicago,

In December 2013, our daughter turned 17. Recently she told us that in her high school there was an announcement that there will be a voter registration for those who are 17 and over. How accurate is this information? Our family immigrated in the United States four and a half years ago, and in the near future we will be applying for US citizenship. We attend HIAS Chicago citizenship class where we learned that only US citizens of 18 years of age and older are allowed to vote. Tatiana L., Chicago.  


Уважаемый ХИАС Чикаго! В декабре 2013 года нашей дочери исполнилось 17 лет. Недавно она сообщила нам, что в ее школе было объявлено о предстоящей регистрации для голосования тех, кому уже исполнилось 17 лет. Насколько достоверна эта информация? Наша семья иммигрировала в США четыре с половиной года назад, и в скором времени мы собираемся подавать заявления для получения американского гражданства. Мы посещаем занятия ХИАСа Чикаго по подготовке к экзамену и интервью на гражданство, и там мы узнали, что к участию к голосованию допускаются только граждане США в возрасте старше 18 лет.  Татьяна Л., Чикаго.


Read full answer here:  English    Pycckuu




Dear HIAS Chicago,

I came to the US as a refugee almost 10 years ago, and I know it was made possible due to Lautenberg Amendment. I still have close relatives in the former Soviet Union who would like to immigrate into the United States. Is it still possible for the people from the former Soviet Union to come here as refugee? Does this program still exist? Can you write more about it?  

Boris -


Уважаемый ХИАС Чикаго!

Я приехал в Америку в статусе беженца почти 10 лет назад. Я знаю, что это было возможно благодаря Поправке Лаутенберга. У меня есть близкие родственники в бывшем Советском Союзе, и они хотели бы иммигрировать в США. Есть ли у меня возможность вызвать их по статусу беженца? Существует ли ещё эта программа и Поправка Лаутенберга? Не могли бы Вы написать об этом подробно?

- Борис –


Read full answer here:  English  Pycckuu


100 Civics Questions and Answers for Naturalization Test

The civics test is an oral test and the USCIS Officer will ask the applicant up to 10 of the 100 civics questions. An applicant must answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test.

100 Civics Questions and Answers for Naturalization Test (pdf) (303K)



HIAS Chicago Board Member Speaks Out in Support of Immigration Reform

By Julie Smolyansky, July 28, 2013

On a steamy summer afternoon in 1976, my parents landed at O'Hare with their 1-year-old daughter following an exhausting four-month journey. Ludmila and Michael Smolyansky left through an early slit in the Iron Curtain, one of 48 families allowed to settle in Chicago.

The 1-year-old baby girl? That was me. When we landed in Chicago, my father had $116 in his pocket. My mother had brought only three outfits and a small pot so that she could prepare farina and bullion for me.

Food was integral in my family, as it is for most Jewish families. As we settled into our home in West Rogers Park, my mom realized that American food was different from her beloved Russian cuisine. Watching the exodus of Soviet citizens to the states, she saw an opportunity to start her own business.

She opened Chicago's first Russian delicatessen, which became Globus Deli, 2909 W. Devon Ave. At the time, she had no idea what the "feminist movement" was … she simply did what she had to do to survive in a new country and feed her family. ...

Click here to read Smolyansky's entire editorial

Department Of Homeland Security Announces Provisional Stateside Waiver Of Inadmissibility

National Immigration Law Center, January 2013

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a new rule that will allow certain people who have U.S. citizen family members, but who must leave the U.S. as part of the process of becoming eligible for lawful permanent residence, to complete a critical part of the application process before they leave theU.S. The new process lowers the risk that such people will be denied reentry into the U.S. and reduces the time they spend abroad apart from their families. DHS issued the new rule on January 3, 2013. The change in process will take effect March 4, 2013. Read more...

Click here to view National Immigration Law Center's full summary.

Illinois Secretary of State to Issue Temporary Valid Driver's Licenses 

On January 8, 2013, the Illinois House of Representatives passed bill SB 957 which allows the Secretary of State to issue Temporary Valid Driver’s Licenses (TVDLs) to undocumented immigrants. Read more...
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) has published a report further explaining TVDLs.Click here to view the report.

Deferred Action For Certain Young Immigrants

On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that certain young people who entered the U.S. will no longer be removed from the United States. Qualifying individuals will be granted “deferred action” for two years (subject to renewal) and will also be eligible for a work permit.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for deferred action, an individual must prove that he or she:

1) Was under 31 years old on June 15, 2012;

2) Came to the United States under the age of 16;

3) Has continuously resided in the United States for at least five years before June 15, 2012, and was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;

4) Is currently attending school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a G.E.D. certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard;

5) Has not been convicted of a felony offense, significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, nor otherwise poses a threat to the community or national security.


For more information or to schedule a HIAS Chicago presentation (together with an immigration attorney) to inform the community on the latest developments regarding “deferred action”, please contact HIAS Chicago at 312-357-4666.

Работатъ  вместе на благо общины, помогать вновьприбывшим...            Working together for the benefit of the community, helping recently arrived immigrants…

C oрганизацией ХИАС новые иммигранты знакомятся сразу же по прибытии в Америку. Помню, как на третий день нашего пребывания в Чикаго родственники, с трудом запихнув нас всех в большой американский автомобиль, повезли из Норсбрука в Скоки, в JCC, где нас встретили сотрудники ХИАСа. На протяжении трех дней они знакомили нас с особенностями американской жизни, рассказывали о возможностях, открывающихся перед нами, давали советы, с чего начать жизнь в Америке.

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Writing her next chapter


Suzanne Franklin speaks during the Jewish Federation’s Annual Meeting.

The tale begins in Romania, when a 14-year-old Jewish boy and his 16-year-old brother flee the pogroms and journey to Canada around 1910 - knowing they would never see their parents or their seven siblings again.

A few years later, the 14-year-old boy moves to America, where he marries a young woman. He owns a little antique store where he chronicles the tales of his treasures to prospective buyers, telling them they can only take possession of a particular object after they hear the story of the person to whom it belonged.

Suzanne Franklin, of Lakeview, knows this story well. Growing up in a multigenerational household, she heard it often as a child, sitting on her grandfather's knee as he shared his immigration experiences.

"He was a storyteller," she said. "He helped me become the social worker I am today."  Read more...

HIAS Chicago celebrated its Centennial with Freedom Grove planting

In honor of HIAS Chicago's Centennial milestone and the tens of thousands of refugees and  immigrants that have planted roots in this community through HIAS Chicago, a Freedom Grove of 100 trees was dedicated in Channel Runne Park in Lincolnwood on Thursday, June 21st. Distinguished community leaders, Harvey Barnett and Igor Boguslavsky, were co-chairs of this special celebration."Trees are like immigrants who come to this country," said Suzanne Franklin, Director of HIAS Chicago. "Their roots grow deep, they enrich the earth and they become tall and plentiful, a canopy that shelters us and makes our world stronger and more vibrant."  Read more 


Watch the 100th Anniversary Video



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