Welcoming & Integrating Immigrants & Refugees

Catholic Charities helps immigrants reunite legally with their families, obtain proper work authorization, learn English and civics, and prepare to pass citizenship exams. Catholic Charities also assists immigrants in avoiding exploitation by unscrupulous practitioners by providing correct information and realistic counsel about immigration status.


  • 3,701 families provided with expert counsel and safeguarded from exploitation
  • 696 individuals taught English
  • 22,309 calls for help answered promptly with accurate information in 200+ languages (39,813 referrals)
  • 697 breadwinners helped to obtain authorization to work
  • 758 detained unaccompanied minors helped with legal orientation and court representation
  • 436 individual refugees resettled
  • 529 individuals received humanitarian or asylum  protection
  • 210 legal residents obtained citizenship

For more information about a particular program and/or service, navigate the tabs below:

  • Hotline for any Immigration Issue

    Catholic Charities operates the New York State New Americans Hotline. This statewide immigration information and referral phone service provides fast, confidential and accurate answers about immigration and citizenship-related questions.  Multilingual hotline immigration experts speak English, Spanish, French, Haitian-Creole, Chinese, Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi. We also offer an expanded menu of over 200 language options.

    Please note:  Our NYS New Americans Hotline does not provide legal advice.  Instead, we refer questions on individual eligibility to legal service agencies for immigration consultations.

    Call the New York State New Americans Hotline at 212-419-3737.  
    Or call toll-free in New York State at 1-800-566-7636

    Hours of Operation: 9 AM to 8 PM weekdays, excluding holidays

  • Reuniting Families

    Learning a new language, a new culture and a new way to earn a living is hard. But the hardest part of immigration is often the loneliness and longing for family.

    Catholic Charities helps reunite families through the legal immigration process.  Our highly skilled staff helps families of refugees (those forced to flee for safety from their homelands) by helping them learn English, find work and make a new home.  We also help families of immigrants navigate the complicated government rules and applications needed to start a new life. 

    Find a Catholic Charities agency that can help you reunite with family. 

  • Resettling Refugees

    Catholic Charities is dedicated to helping refugees and other victims who must flee their countries to escape violence and persecution.  This complicated, comprehensive work often involves fragile survivors.  

    To make the transition as easy as possible Catholic Charities:

    • Helps family members and sponsors process overseas applications for refugee status outside the United States  
    • Helps those who recently received asylum status in the United States
    • Makes pre-arrival arrangements to assure a smooth transition into the United States
    • Provides material assistance after arrival
    • Offers English as a Second Language (ESL) classes
    • Helps with school enrollment
    • Provides information and referral  to social services
    • Provides training to find and land a job

    Find a Catholic Charities agency that assists refugees and asylees. 

  • Obtaining Authorization to Work

    Catholic Charities helps immigrants learn if they are eligible to work legally in the United States.  And when eligible, Catholic Charities helps complete the applications needed for legal authorization to work.  

    WARNING: Many agencies advertise that, for a price, they can get work permits for immigrants who lack legal immigration status. These may not be valid.  When fraud is suspected, call the Catholic Charities-operated New York State New Americans Hotline to make a confidential report. 

    Call the New York State New Americans Hotline at 212-419-3737.  
    Or call toll-free in New York State at 1-800-566-7636

    Find a Catholic Charities agency that can help obtain work authorizations. 

  • Help Finding a Job

    Finding work is hard, particularly for immigrants who lack connections and know-how in this competitive market.  Catholic Charities offers immigrants and refugees the tools they need to get started.  We help write resumes.  We provide employment training and English instruction. We develop solid interview skills.  We help prepare for the high school equivalency test. We teach how to search for a job. And we set up job interviews; drawing on the wide network of employers who rely on our staff’s proven skills matching employment needs with qualified workers.

    Find a Catholic Charities agency for help finding employment.

  • English Instruction & Help Becoming a U.S. Citizen

    Learning English is essential to becoming fully integrated into American society.  It is also necessary to demonstrate the ability to speak English along with a basic understanding of U.S. civics and history to become a U.S. citizen.  Catholic Charities provides English classes and citizenship preparation classes in local parishes, schools and agencies in neighborhoods throughout New York.

    Find a Catholic Charities agency that offers English and civics classes. 

  • Preventing Exploitation

    The sad reality is that immigrants are common targets for exploitation.  Dishonest landlords, employers, “notarios” and attorneys often prey on immigrants’ fears.  And their high-cost scams can cause problems for years to come.

    Catholic Charities’ qualified staff works to prevent this exploitation.  We provide honest information in multiple languages and solid legal advice.  We also operate the New York State New Americans Hotline.

    Call us at 212-419-3737 or toll-free in New York State at 1-800-566-7636 to 

    • Obtain accurate information
    • Avoid exploitation
    • Report fraud

    Find a Catholic Charities agency that provides quality help.

  • Immigration Legal Services

    Catholic Charities provides legal consultations, representation and assistance to documented and undocumented newcomers of all nationalities, ethnicities and religions.  All matters are treated professionally and confidentially.

    Services, provided in multiple languages, include:

    • Citizenship applications
    • Immigration court representation
    • Legal residence petitions for relatives such as spouses, children, parents and siblings
    • Work authorization applications
    • Special residence petitions for spouses and children who are victims of violence
    • Information about pending immigration and naturalization cases
    • Legal representation in asylum cases and for long-time residents to avoid deportation
    • Petitions for battered spouses and children
    • Temporary Protected Status applications
    • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
    • Green card replacement 
    • Family court assistance for immigrant children for special residence
    • Legal residence for victims of a crime in the United States

    Our central office is located at 80 Maiden Lane in Manhattan.  We also provide services at locations that span from Staten Island up to the Bronx, Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan, Orange and Rockland counties.

    Clients are charged nominal fees.  Generally, our consultation fee is $50 ($85.00 for consultations with an attorney.) Fees for other services vary. Fees may be reduced or waived according to need.

    Find a Catholic Charities agency that provides legal help.

  • Help for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children & Their Families

    Thousands of immigrant children arrive in the United States each year alone and frightened without a relative or caring adult.  Catholic Charities provides crucial legal and support services to children detained in temporary, federal shelter care in New York as they await reunification with a relative or transfer to foster care.  We also offer legal representation in court so children don’t have to go in front of a judge alone. 

    And we help custodians and potential custodians through the Legal Orientation Program for Custodians (LOPC) to better understand their roles, responsibilities and the immigration court process.

    Call 888-996-3848 to speak with an LOPC Children’s Center experts.

    For case managers only:  Login to the LOPC Online Scheduling System (OSS) page to schedule appointments and orientations for the custodians you serve.

  • New Legal Programs Help Immigrants

    President Obama’s recent Executive Action and the court battles that followed leave many immigrant families with questions. Catholic Charities offers answers.

    Two proposals, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) may help undocumented immigrants.

    • DACA helps immigrants who came to the United States before their 16th birthday and arrived on or before January 1, 2010. This program allows immigrants who qualify to stay in the country, work legally for 3 years and apply for travel permission.
    • DAPA helps parents who arrived in the United States on or before January 1, 2010 and who have at least one U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident son or daughter. This allows immigrant parents to stay in the country, work legally for 3 years and apply for travel permission.

    Why Are These Programs Important?
    The U.S. government will not deport immigrants who qualify for either of these programs for three years. This promise is called “Deferred Action.” 

    View our web calendar for free informational seminars

    For other events in the New York City area, visit the Mayor’s Offices of Immigration Affairs events page.

    For more information, download Executive Action Flyers in: Spanish · Arabic · French · Chinese · Korean · Polish · Russian · Hindi