TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation Registration Office is extending its closure of in-person services through October and will reopen to the public on November 1 to allow staff to continue to focus on clearing a backlog of thousands of pending citizenship applications.
Cherokee Nation Registration has received a record number of applications in 2021 as the tribe works to provide critical COVID-19 relief funding to its citizens.
“We were receiving 2,000 applications for citizenship a week at one point, which is 10 times the volume we normally receive,” said Interim Registrar Derrick Vann. “Having our office temporarily closed to in-person services has allowed us to focus heavily on catching up on the backlog of applications. We’re working at great speed to help our citizens with the COVID-19 programs and assistance they may need.”
A secure vault has been placed in the lobby of the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah for those who wish to drop off citizenship applications during the temporary in-person closure of Registration services. Citizens may mail in applications via postal service or use the secure drop off; however, all in-person citizenship applications and photo ID cards will remain suspended until November 1, 2021.
Registration employees will continue working diligently on all pending applications and submissions by individuals seeking citizenship or updates to existing citizen records.
To meet the higher demand in citizenship applications, Registration added 12 additional staff to the existing 45 employees. Additionally, the staff has expanded work shifts to 7 p.m. during the weekdays and work on Saturdays.