ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State officials say 6,100 immigrants living in New York state participated in a government program last year that helps them on the path to naturalization.

The administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo released the numbers for the NaturalizeNY program on Wednesday. It's a record level of participants since the program began in 2016.

NaturalizeNY helps to connect those seeking citizenship to federal waivers that defray the cost of citizenship. Applicants who enter into a lottery can win vouchers that cover the entire cost of the fee.

The program also offers free help with citizenship exam preparation.

Supporters say the $725 fee can be a major obstacle for working immigrants looking to become citizens.

This year, individuals from more than 100 countries entered the lottery for fee vouchers.