For many immigrants, family is a powerful draw. Luiz and Adeli Machado moved to the United States from southern Brazil, primarily to be near their three children, who are naturalized US citizens, and their three grandchildren.
As Machado explains, “Since I am 72 years old, and my wife is 76, we thought it would be best to be close to our children again.”
Yet, they are not only doting grandparents — they are an active part of the economy. “I try to work as much as I can to generate extra income here, since my only constant source of revenue comes from my retirement from Brazil. Usually, I provide mechanical repair services and deliver online food orders. In the past, I’ve also worked as an Uber driver,” says Machado.
They are also eager to become US citizens — but finances have stood in the way. “We came with the immigrant visa based on family ties with our children. They’ve filed our green card petitions, so we’ve been legal US residents since 2014. About three years ago, we started thinking about the possibility of applying for citizenship, but never made any progress. Our income was limited, and we could not afford to pay all the application fees at once.”
“Then we heard about One Percent for America. The loan was crucial; it really made a difference for us to move forward with the citizenship plan.”
Leveraging the lending experience of BlueHub Capital, One Percent for America (OPA) established a technology-enabled platform that provides individuals seeking citizenship with loans at 1% interest to cover their filing fees. Green card holders, Dreamers and those with Temporary Protected Status are invited to apply. The OPA loan covers the upfront fees required by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for citizenship applications. There are no application fees or late fees, no credit requirements and the borrower has a flexible repayment schedule. Every borrower must pay back their loan in full, which enables us to support more immigrants.
The Machados were OPA's first borrowers; we’re excited to see their plans come to fruition.