Launched in 2017, the New American Workforce Portal is accessible through Walmart’s Citizenship Resources page. It’s a free, confidential way to apply for naturalization, and it guides applicants through each step toward becoming U.S. citizens:
- Understanding your eligibility
- Getting support from USCIS BIA-accredited providers
- Reviewing applications
- Submitting applications
Here are the stories of two different associates who used the Portal to become citizens, and their advice for others who may be interested as well.
Cindy: “This is my home, and it feels amazing."
Walmart associates always go after big opportunities. For some—like Cindy A., replenishment manager at the Home Office, in Bentonville, Ark.—one of the biggest was to become a U.S. citizen.
When she joined the Home Office in 2016, she excelled in her role and was promoted to replenishment manager, but she always felt like she was missing something—the stability that comes with citizenship. Cindy wasn’t confident that she could stay in the U.S. and continue to grow her career with just a green card.
“I didn’t want to stress out about where I’d be next year,” she says. “I knew I wouldn’t feel like I had a home until I had a piece of paper in my hand that said I was a citizen.”
Then she heard about the New American Workforce Portal—a free online service that can help associates and their family members gain citizenship. Having moved to the U.S. from Mexico as a teenager when her mom married an American, she says, “I saw how many things could go wrong when applying for my residency status, and I didn’t want that to happen when applying for citizenship.”
The citizenship portal was “user-friendly, easy to understand, and free—no lawyer needed—which is a huge deal.” Just six months after starting the process on the portal, Cindy became a U.S. citizen. It had taken six years for her to gain residency.
Now Cindy can focus on advancing her career: “At Walmart, you can go anywhere you want, and there’s always something to do, something to make better,” she says. “The security and peace of mind I have now—no one can take that from me. This is my home, and it feels amazing.”
Elizabeth: “My family will always be able to stay together.”
Elizabeth C., electronics associate, Store 1549, Phoeniz, Ariz., came to America for love—but Walmart’s New American Workforce Portal has helped her find something else, too: stability and a developing career at Walmart, where she can make a difference for customers every day.
After marrying a U.S. citizen and gaining legal residency, Elizabeth moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where she got a job in Store 1549’s electronics department, working with her green card. It was a challenging transition, but she sought ways to excel. She quickly earned the appreciation of her manager and other associates by working hard and asking questions about anything that was new to her. She even overcame her fear of speaking English by embracing the 10-Foot Rule, greeting customers and conversing with them.
“I was really excited to be a part of my team,” she says. “I felt happy working at Walmart because I got the chance to learn more—and do more—every day.”
Then, while exploring the OneWalmart app, Elizabeth learned about Walmart’s Citizenship Resources and the New American Workforce Portal, designed to help associates become citizens. Elizabeth jumped at the opportunity.
”It’s really important for your life and protecting what you have here,” she says. “And as an American citizen, you have more opportunities with jobs.”
One year after starting her application, Elizabeth became a U.S. citizen. She was surprised by how quick the process was when using the portal.
“My husband and kids were so excited when I got my citizenship,” says Elizabeth. “They were proud of me and felt the relief and stability. We had a special dinner to celebrate, and during it my husband gave me my U.S. passport as a present. I am extremely grateful to Walmart for being such a supportive employer and extremely happy that my family will always be able to stay together.”
What’s next for Elizabeth? Continuing toward her goal to become an assistant manager—and “wherever I decide to go next,” she says. “At Walmart, I have a greater chance of climbing to other positions than I even realized before.”
For Walmart associates who are not yet citizens, Elizabeth recommends the following:
- Set your goal to become a citizen now—Walmart can help you achieve it.
- Learn something new every day—there are opportunities for everyone!
- Be proud of your heritage—don’t be afraid to share your story with associates and customers.
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