Immigration and Citizenship: Legal Resources

Evanston Public Library has a wide variety of resources to help you pursue U.S. Citizenship and navigate the immigration system. In addition to our books (many available in our Literacy section, at call number 323.62, or in Spanish in our Spanish section, also at call number 323.62), try these local free and low-cost resources:

Abogado.com

  • Investigue cualquier asunto legal utilizando nuestra colección de videos, preguntas frecuentes, artículos e infografías.
  • Búsqueda de abogados por asunto legal
  • https://www.abogado.com/

Ascend Justice

  • We currently provide the following types of legal assistance to individuals and families:
    • Economic legal services for survivors of gender-based violence such as help with finances and housing
    • Family defense legal services for families who have DCFS investigations or appeals
    • Family law services for survivors of gender-based violence such as help with divorces, custody arrangements, visitation, and child support
    • Orders of protection services for survivors of gender-based violence
    • Immigration services for survivors of gender-based violence
  • Phone:  312.325.9155
  • Website:  www.ascendjustice.org

Ayuda Legal Illinois

Catholic Charities Legal Assistance

  • Evaluates and provides assistance to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents in the immigration process involving family reunification applications. Also assist in completing applications for extensions of visitor’s visas, religious workers, work permits, replacement/renewal of permanent residence cards, naturalization/citizenship, and inquiries for status of cases at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices, as well as, American embassies/consulates abroad.
  • Evalúa y proporciona asistencia a los ciudadanos estadounidenses y residentes permanentes legales en el proceso de inmigración en relación a solicitudes de reunificación familiar. Ayuda a completar aplicaciones para extensiones de visas de visitante, trabajadores religiosos, permisos de trabajo, sustitución/renovación de tarjetas de residencia permanente, naturalización/ ciudadanía, y consultas del estado de los casos en las oficinas de los Servicios de Inmigración y Ciudadanía de los EE.UU. (USCIS, por sus siglas en inglés), así como en las embajadas/ consulados estadounidenses en el extranjero.
  • Additional locations/Ubicaciones adicionales:
    • Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine
      1170 N. River Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016
      Days: Tuesday and Thursday
      Phone: (312) 427-7078 from 2:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    • West Regional Office
      1400 South Austin Blvd., Cicero, IL 60804
      Days: Monday, Wednesday & Friday
      Phone: (708) 329-4031 from 2:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Melrose Park
      1115 N. 23rd Ave., Melrose Park IL 60060
      Days: Wednesdays
      Phone: (312) 427-7078 from 2:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Catholic Charities – Waukegan
      671 S. Lewis, Waukegan, IL 60085
      Days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
      Phone: (847) 782-4225 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • The Community Center – Waukegan
      914 8th Street, Waukegan, IL 60085
      Days: Wednesday
      Phone: (847) 782-4226 from: 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • CCLA’s services are offered in both English and Spanish without regard to a person’s citizenship status or religious affiliation. Most of our services are provided free of charge. Clients who do not qualify for free services may be charged a minimal fee. CCLA will provide free services to clients who have a foreclosure related issue and whose income is below four hundred percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
  • Servicios están disponibles en Español.
  • Phone:  (312) 948-6821
  • Website: http://catholiccharities.net/GetHelp/OurServices/ImmigrationandNaturalization.aspx

Centro Romero Latin American Legal Assistance Services Program (LALAS)

  • Centro Romero is a community-based organization that serves the refugee immigrant population on the northeast side of Chicago. Our interrelated programs include adult education, women’s empowerment projects, legal assistance, and youth learning and leadership development as well as special projects such as Community organizing and HIV/AIDS Outreach and Education.
  • CENTRO ROMERO’S LEGAL DEPARTMENT ONLY REPRESENTS CLIENTS WITH IMMIGRATION CASES.
  • For new clients only, in the state of Illinois – To start a consultation with the Legal Department, please fill out our online consultation form at https://ww5.welcomeclient.com/4DCGI/web_handle_general_intake/get/61551 (If you are already our client do not use this link. Send us an email to legald@centroromero.org)
  • Para clientes nuevos en el estado de Illinois- Para empezar una consulta con el Departamento Legal , por favor llene la forma de consulta en línea online consultation form https://ww5.welcomeclient.com/4DCGI/web_handle_general_intake/get/61551 (Si usted ya es nuestro cliente, por favor no siga el enlace, envíenos un correo electrónico a legald@centroromero.org)
  • Address: 6216 N. Clark Street
  • Website:  http://centroromero.org/crweb/
  • Pnone: 773.508.5300

Chicago Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Call-A-Lawyer Service:

  • The Chicago Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service has over 300 prescreened, qualified lawyers experienced in almost every area of law. Cost: $30, if you meet with the lawyer you are referred to.
  • Phone:  (312) 554-2001
  • Website: https://lrs.chicagobar.org
  • You can also speak to a lawyer for free on the 3rd Saturday of every month, with the CBA’s Call-A-Lawyer program.  Call (312) 554-2001 from 9 a.m. to 12:00 noon on the program dates to speak to a volunteer Lawyer Referral Service attorney for general legal advice and self-help strategies.
  • See website for after-hours lawyers available on call for Criminal Defense, Domestic Relations/Family Law, and Personal Injury.

Chicago Bar Foundation – Limited Scope/Bundled Services

  • Find lawyers who offer limited-scope representation/unbundled services. These lawyers allow you to hire them for a specific task. This is less expensive than hiring a lawyer under a traditional, full-service model.  Some examples of limited scope services include:
    – Preparing legal paperwork for you;
    – Reviewing legal paperwork you prepared on your own;
    – Serving court papers on the other party;
    – Preparing a defense or a legal argument;
    – Drafting a demand letter or response letter;
    – Negotiating or reviewing a settlement agreement;
    – Coaching you on how to appear in court on your own; and
    – Appearing in court for a specific hearing (usually the most complicated or important one) while you appear in court on your own for all other scheduled dates.
  • Website: https://chicagobarfoundation.org/limitedscope/

Chicago Legal Clinic

  • The Chicago Legal Clinic is a not-for-profit organization which offers low cost legal services on a sliding-scale, based on ability to pay, to residents of Cook County. Services available in English and Spanish at several Chicago locations.
  • Phone:  773-731-1762
  • Website:  https://clclaw.org

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services

  • CVLS is an organization of over 3,000 volunteer attorneys who donate free legal services to thousands of low-income Chicagoans. Our services are free, accessible and real. With 22 legal clinics across the Chicago area, hosted evenings and weekends at community organizations and churches, where you can talk with an attorney about your legal problem, CVLS works to ensure that everyone has access to justice, not just those who can afford it.
  • Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday
  • Phone:  312.332.1624
  • Website Address: http://www.cvls.org

Children’s Legal Center

  • The Children’s Legal Center focuses on providing legal services to children and families with children. Some common services we provide are:
    T Visas: victims of human trafficking
    Asylum (Petitions with USCIS and Defensive in Immigration Court)
    VAWA Petitions (Violence Against Women Act): available to children and families of United States Citizens who are the victims of domestic abuse )
    SIJS (Special Immigrant Juvenile Status): available to children who are victims of abuse/neglect by their parent(s)
    U Visas : victims of crimes
  • Address:  939 W North Ave., Suite 750 Chicago, Illinois 60642
  • Phone Number: (312) 722-6642 English, (312) 392-1204 Español
  • Website:  https://www.childrenslegalcenterchicago.org/childrens-legal-center

City of Chicago – Office of New Americans

Cook County Law Library

  • Main Branch Location:  69 W. Washington Suite 1600 Chicago, Illinois 60602.  Phone:  312) 603-5423. Hours: M-F: 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Open Sat: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for attorneys presenting a current ARDC card and current photo ID, and for litigants presenting official court papers stamped within a year and current photo ID. Sun: Closed.
  • Skokie Branch: 5600 Old Orchard Road, Skokie, IL 60077. Phone: (847) 470-7298 Hours: M-F: 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Sat-Sun: Closed
  • The public can access the law library catalog online, access legal research online, view Cook County Ordinances online, contact reference staff for assistance with legal research, or visit the law library to access electronic resources such as Westlaw and Lexis, and to visit the library’s Self-Help Web Center.
  • Website: https://www.cookcountyil.gov/agency/law-library
  • Email:  law.lawlibrary@cookcountyil.gov

Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services  (CARPLS)

  • Legal Aid Hotline for low-income residents of Cook County. Experienced attorneys answer questions on a wide range of civil law issues free of charge. Operates daily Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesdays until 7:30 pm. Clients who do not qualify for free services may be charged a $25 fee. Referrals are given if in-court representation is required.
  • Phone:  312-738-9200
  • Website:  https://www.carpls.org

Erie Neighborhood House

  • MISSION: To empower our community—Latinx immigrants alongside individuals and families of all backgrounds—through education, access to critical services and advocacy, working together to create a just and inclusive society.
  • Programs include Citizenship & Immigration classes and legal help, youth and adult education, and health, in English and in Spanish.
  • Locations:
    • West Town – House
      1347 W Erie St.
      Chicago IL 60642
      (312) 666-3430
    • West Town – Center
      1701 W Superior St
      Chicago IL 60622
      (312) 563-5800
    • Little Village
      4225 W 25th St
      Chicago IL 60623
      (773) 542-7617
    • Humboldt Park
      1313 N Claremont Ave
      Chicago, IL 60622
      Program: (312) 975-2637
      Site: (773) 534-4451
      *School-Age program only
  • Website:  https://eriehouse.org/

Evanston Latinos

  • Somos una organización de promoción de la equidad e inclusión para la comunidad inmigrante, indocumentada, familias de estatus mixto y la comunidad latinx en Evanston.  (We are an organization promoting equity and inclusion for the immigrant, undocumented community, mixed status families and Latinx community in Evanston.)
  • Recursos /Resources
  • Address: 2113 Greenleaf St., Unit #6, Evanston, IL 60202
  • Phone: (224) 408-0579
  • Website:  https://www.evanstonlatinos.com
  • Email: evanstonlatinos@gmail.com

Farmworker And Landscaper Advocacy Project (FLAP)

  • Provides free legal assistance to Migrant and seasonal workers, Landscaping workers, horticultural workers, Agricultural workers, Greenhouse workers, and Nursery workers in Illinois. (Abogados para Trabajadores Agricolas y Jardineros.) FLAP’s mission is to improve working conditions for migrant and seasonal workers in the agricultural and landscaping industries in Illinois. FLAP carries out this mission through: Litigation, Outreach and Community Legal Education. Se habla español. No client documentation necessary.
  • Among the many violations that our clients are exposed to are:
    • Nonpayment of wages (“wage theft”)
    • Denial of overtime wage rates
    • Illegal pesticide exposure
    • Hazardous housing
    • Unsanitary working conditions
    • Illegal deductions from wages [for visa, travel, housing, equipment and uniform expenses]
  • Address: 33 N. LaSalle # 900 Chicago, IL 60602; 154 S. Lincoln Street, Suite D Aurora, IL 60505; 62 N. Ayer St., Suite A & B Harvard, IL 60033
    60602
  • Website: http://www.flapillinois.org/
  • Phone: Clients 24 hr. hotline: 847-668-2114 | 815-909-0362 | 312-784-3522

FindLaw.com

  • FindLaw is a free online resource that provides legal information, lawyer profiles and a community to help you make legal decisions.  FindLaw has sections to help you learn about the law, find a lawyer, join an online discussion forum with other FindLaw users or chat with an attorney online, or find legal and business forms.
  • Website:  http://www.findlaw.com

Free Legal Answers (IL.freelegalanswers.org)

  • Free Legal Answers is a secure website (https://il.freelegalanswers.org/) where lower income Illinois residents can ask a lawyer for help with a legal issue. Qualified users post questions about civil legal problems then volunteer lawyers log onto the site and select questions to answer. It’s a virtual walk-in legal clinic.

Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti

  • The mission of the group is to strengthen and organize members and friends of the Haitian community to make positive contributions towards the creation of a stable, peaceful and prosperous Haiti. Conducts Haiti relief efforts. Haitian Congress PAC works towards a fully integrated partnership between Haitians within Haiti and those who are citizens of other countries. This partnership is a vital link to the sustainable development of Haiti.
  • Address: Family Focus, 2010 Dewey 3rd Floor, Evanston, IL
    60201
  • Website: http://haitiancongress.org/about-us
  • Phone: 847-530-0851

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

  • Assistance with U.S. citizenship, family member immigration, refugee and resettlement services. Citizenship Preparation Programs.
  • North Suburban Office: 5150 W Golf Rd, Skokie, IL 60077, 847-568-5200.
  • Chicago Office: 216 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 700 Chicago IL
    60606,  312-357-4666
  • Website: http://www.HIASCHicago.org

Hispanic American Community Education & Services (HACES)

  • Our current services focus on keeping families together, civic engagement, linkages to community resources and advocacy. Our programs are: Legalization, Immigrant Family Resource Program, Health Plans Enrollment and Navigation, Health Insurance 101, Citizenship and Naturalization, Linkages to Community Resources, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), School Parent Mentors, Bilingual GED Preparation and Volunteer Opportunities.
  • Address: 820 W Greenwood Ave., Waukegan, IL 60087
  • Phone: 847.244.0300
  • Website: https://www.haces.org/
  • Email: info@haces.org

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

  • Educates and organizes immigrant and refugee communities to assert their rights; promotes citizenship and civic participation; monitors, analyzes, and advocates on immigrant-related issues; and, informs the general public about the contributions of immigrants and refugees.
  • Address: 55 E Jackson Blvd #2075, Chicago, IL
    60604
    Website:  http://icirr.org/
    Phone: 312- 332-7360

Illinois Legal Aid Online

  • Evanston Public Library partners with Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) as a Legal Self-Help Center.  A legal self-help center is a place where you can learn about the law, your legal rights, and how to go to court. If you have a legal issue, you can come to the Evanston Public Library to:
    –  use a computer for free,
    –  search online for answers to your legal questions,
    –  chat online with legal navigators,
    –  find and prepare court forms,
    –  get referrals for additional legal assistance, and
    –  get other help navigating the ILAO website and services.
  • ILAO is an independent nonprofit organization that provides web-based legal help and information for lower-income Illinoisans.
  • Phone:  312-977-9047
  • Website:  https://www.illinoislegalaid.org
  • Contact Email: https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/node/add/support-ticket

Indo-American Center

  • Since its beginnings, the Indo-American Center has welcomed people of any nationality or creed. The agency serves over 30,000 from over 35 countries people annually and provides comprehensive support through the following interrelated programs and services: Adult Literacy, Civic Engagement, Cyriac D. Kappil Legal Clinic, Immigration & Citizenship, Public Benefits, Senior Services, and Workforce Development.
  • Address: 6328 N. California Ave, Chicago, IL 60659
  • Website Address: https://indoamerican.org/
  • Phone Number: 773-973-4444

Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP)

  • The Chicago Bar Foundation Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) is a network of independent lawyers who are committed to making quality legal services accessible and affordable for regular people by using set fees, offering flexible representation options, and leveraging technology to increase efficiency.
  • Lawyers in the JEP currently assist clients in the following areas:
    • Family Law – including divorce, spousal support, child support, custody, visitation and orders of protection
    • Landlord/Tenant – including eviction proceedings and security deposit claims
    • Consumer Law – including debt collection issues, consumer disputes and Chapter 7 bankruptcy
    • Estate Law – including wills, probate and guardianships
    • Employment Law – including discrimination and wage claims
    • Small Business/Non-profit – including business formation, contracts and intellectual property issues
    • Real Property Law – including foreclosure proceedings and real estate purchase/sale
    • Criminal – felonies/misdemeanors, traffic tickets, license suspensions and ordinance violations
    • Immigration Law – including visas, residency, family-based applications, naturalization, deportation and asylum
    • Social security disability
    • Education law
    • Personal injury defense
    • And more!
  • Phone:  312-546-3282
  • Website:   https://jepchicago.community.lawyer

Latinos Progresando

  • Latinos Progresando provides professional, affordable immigration legal services to thousands of families every year, from more than 40 countries around the world. The agency is recognized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and staffed by DOJ-accredited representatives.
  • Part of the flagship immigration legal service program, the VAWA Project provides full-service, completely free legal support to immigrants surviving domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Address:  3047 W Cermak Rd., Chicago, IL 60623
  • Phone: Call Latinos Progresando’s Immigration Hotline/Llame a la línea directa de inmigración de Latinos Progresando:  (773) 542-7077 Ext: 10
  • Website: https://latinospro.org/

Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services

  • We at the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services continue our commitment to securing access to equal justice by providing legal representation and assistance on domestic violence, family law, consumer and housing issues, elder abuse and financial exploitation, human trafficking, and victims of crime. We present “Know Your Rights” workshops on all the areas of law we practice and lead several legal clinics. In partnership with Metropolitan Family Services, we offer the most comprehensive services to our clients by providing meaningful opportunities to move up and out of poverty.
  • Phone: (312) 986-4105
  • Website:  https://www.metrofamily.org/legal-aid-society/

Legal Assistance Foundation (LAF)

  • Free legal aid for low income people in Cook County. Priorities are family law, human and civil rights, safety issues, and economic stability.
  • Phone:  312-341-1070
  • Website: https://www.legalaidchicago.org/get-help/

Life Span

  • Services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors include counseling, assistance with employment, immigration, referrals, and free legal services. Legal services are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Russian and Polish..
  • For Counseling services, call 847.824.0382. For Legal services, call 312.408.1210.
  • Website:  http://www.life-span.org/
  • Email:  life-span@life-span.org

Mano a Mano Family Resource Center

  • Serving Lake and McHenry Counties, Mano a Mano is located in Round Lake Park and has community sites in Mundelein, Highland Park, and Wauconda.
  • Engaged Citizens Program Initiatives include:
    • Immigration Legal Services: providing affordable and trustworthy application processing for administrative processes adjudicated by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    • Application processes supported include: naturalization, deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), green card renewals, and re-inscriptions for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Mano a Mano provides one-on-one case management and support through these complex processes;
    • Outreach & Education: keeping the community up to date in the latest happenings in the immigration world, including any new laws or fraud alerts;
    • Beyond Legal Aid Clinic in conjunction with Beyond Legal Aid (a Chicago-based legal clinic), providing full legal representation before USCIS and the Department of Justice for complicated immigration cases, including: naturalization, U-visas, asylum petitions, and deportation defense.
  • To schedule an initial appointment for your case, call 847-201-1521.
  • For more information about the program or to schedule an Immigration Information Session in your community, contact Yanira Ramirez, Program Coordinator (email or by phone).
  • Website: https://mamfrc.org/
  • Email: info@mamfrc.org

Metropolitan Asian Family Services, Inc.

  • Provides community care program, hot meal program, senior opportunities and services, citizenship and immigration help, computer training, outreach and interpretation, light and heat energy assistance, English as a second language, youth program, and a summer youth program.
  • Address 7541 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60645
  • Website: http://www.mafsinc.com
  • Phone: 773-465-3105

National Immigrant Justice Center

  • The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. NIJC provides pro bono legal services to these groups and advocates for policy reform and broad-based systemic change.
  • Representation limited to low-income immigrants
  • Provides free legal information at Chicago Immigration Court Helpdesk Monday-Thursday. (525 W Van Buren St #500, Chicago, IL 60607) Group Information Sessions take place in the waiting area of the Chicago Immigration Court on Monday through Thursday at 8:45 a.m. & 12:45 p.m. Individual Information Sessions take place in the pro bono room at the Chicago Immigration Court on Monday through Thursday at 9-11:45 a.m. & 1-3 p.m.
  • Languages: Spanish and French (Español, Français)
  • Detained Adults: Call on Tuesdays from 11am – 2pm CT
  • Telephone for detainees: 312-583-9721, Telephone for family members calling about a detainee: 773-672-6599
  • LGBT Individuals (detained and non-detained): Call on Wednesdays or Fridays from 10am – 12pm CT Telephone: 773-672-6551
  • Detention facility speed dial code: 565
  • Address: 208 S. La Salle Street, Suite 1300 , Chicago IL 60604
  • Website: http://www.immigrantjustice.org/about/
  • Phone: (312) 660-1370

University of Illinois at Chicago John Marshall Law School – International Human Rights Clinic

  • The International Human Rights Clinic promotes human rights domestically and around the world by providing direct legal representation to clients and organizations in international and domestic forums; documenting human rights violations in the United States and abroad; collaborating with other human rights organizations on cases and projects; and publishing and presenting reports, papers, and other materials related to human rights. We make a special effort to incorporate international human rights norms in our work within the United States–to “domesticate” international human rights law. This allows us to draw upon a broader range of sources of human rights protection for our clients and in our projects. It also allows us to use a more diverse array of approaches to human rights protection. Our innovative approach to domestic human rights protection expands the traditional domestic rights model and situates it within the broader international human rights movement.
  • Website:  https://jmls.uic.edu/clinics/international-human-rights/
  • We are accepting new cases. Our intake is open for prospective clients who seek to submit new asylum applications. Contact us at 312.427.2737 ext. 607 to schedule an interview!
  • Estamos entrevistando para nuevos casos de asilo. ¡Contáctenos al 312.427.2737 ext. 607 para hacer su cita!
    إننا نستقبل حالات جديدة. إن الباب مفتوح للعملاء السوريين المحتملين الساعين لتقديم طلبات لجوء جديدة. سوف نضع مواعيد المقابلات. الرجاء التواصل معنا على الهاتف رق312.427.2737 ext. 607 أو التواصل معنا على العنوان الالكتروني

U.S. Customs & Immigration Services

  • Chicago Field Office: 101 West Ida B. Wells Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
  • Phone: 800-375-5283 (for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability: TTY 800-767-1833) to access automated information through an interactive menu 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are outside the United States or a U.S. territory, you can call 212-620-3418. You can get live help from a USCIS representative Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern except on federal holidays.
  • Website: https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/field-offices/illinois-chicago-field-office
  • Online Tools: https://www.uscis.gov/tools

Other free sources of law online:

  • Legal Information Institute (LII):  LII is a not-for-profit group that provides open access to legal materials online. Resources include federal law, the Constitution, U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), Supreme Court cases, Federal Rules, State law resources, State statutes by topic, Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.), Uniform Laws, World legal resources, and the Wex Legal Encyclopedia, which explains legal terms and topics.  Website:  https://www.law.cornell.edu
  • Social Science Research Network (SSRN):  a source of open-access journal articles on a variety of social science topics, including law. Use this website for access to legal (and other) scholarship:    http://www.ssrn.com/en/

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.