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Citizenship Process

Our Law Firm Handles the Citizenship Process for People in New York

Helping you understand naturalization

The citizenship process can be a long one, often taking several years. It can also include many stops along the way. Foreign nationals seeking citizenship in the United States must often first obtain an appropriate visa or other entry authorization and a green card before ultimately applying for citizenship. Others however, may already have the right to citizenship, or they may be citizens and not even realize it. As distinguished attorneys with more than 20 years of experience in the immigration field, we at Bretz & Coven, LLP are proud to advise people in New York City and throughout the United States ready to accept the rights and duties of U.S. citizenship. We understand the several available ways to obtain citizenship and can advise you about the procedures that are available to you.

Citizenship by birth

Many people with at least one parent who was a U.S. citizen may have a right to citizenship without investing the time necessary to complete the naturalization process. This may apply to you if you were born of a legal marriage and at least one of your parents lived in the United States for a continuous period prior to your birth — although the length of that period depends on when you were born. Parents who become naturalized may also be able to obtain citizenship for their minor children. This is a very basic recounting of the rules regarding this path to citizenship, and an experienced attorney at Bretz & Coven can better determine how U.S. immigration law applies to your particular circumstances.

Citizenship by naturalization

Those not entitled to citizenship by birth may apply for citizenship through the naturalization process. Any adult can qualify by meeting a number of requirements:

  • You must have held a green card for at least five years. This is reduced to three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen.
  • During your time as a legal permanent resident, you must have been present in the United States for at least 30 months. This is reduced to 18 months if you are married to a U.S. citizen.
  • You must have had residency in your state for at least three months.
  • You must remain physically present in the United States while your application is pending.
  • You must demonstrate an ability to read and write English and a basic knowledge of civics and U.S. history. This is usually done by passing the Naturalization Test.
  • You must demonstrate good moral character, usually meaning the absence of a serious criminal record.

Contact our firm to learn about the many paths to citizenship

Our attorneys and staff at Bretz & Coven, LLP have first-hand experience with the immigration and naturalization process and have been helping people in New York City achieve the dream of citizenship for more than 20 years. Contact our experienced immigration lawyers in New York City today at 212-267-2555 or online for creative solutions to your complex immigration problems.  For an office appointment in Metro Park, New Jersey, call 1 (732) 313-0075.

Immigration Consequences of Criminal and Fraudulent Conduct
The immigration consequences of criminal or fraudulent conduct can be harsh and often illogical. Even a very minor offense could have a dramatic immigration consequence, including deportation, detention without bond, being denied naturalization, a visa or re-entry into the United States. Likewise, the use of fake or fraudulent documents, aliases, and other misrepresentations can have similar immigration consequences. Kerry Bretz and Bretz & Coven have been counseling non-citizen criminal defendants, as well as their lawyers, for over 20 years. We have a long history of strategizing deportation and removal defenses, as well as applications for waivers, in very complicated cases.

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Client Reviews
"Was trying to get Green Card since about 7 years. Finally when I switched to this law firm I was able to get green card very fast with great confidence. Big thanks to Eileen, Kerry, Manjit and Olga." - Dinesh, Kansas

""With an extensive criminal history: over 14 arrests, 2 State prison bids and several felony convictions no lawyer wanted my case in 2010. Thanks to the experts at Bretz & Coven who worked diligently and with precision, today I am a United States citizen." - E.A. Brooklyn, NY

"Absolutely one the best, if not the best immigration attorneys. They helped from start to finish in my green card process. At no point was I blind-sided by anything. Simply amazing!" - Leon B. Jersey City,

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