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Path to Citizenship

Our Firm Assists You Along Your Path to Citizenship in NY

We can help you gain the full rights and privileges of a U.S. citizen

Citizenship is the ultimate dream for nearly every immigrant who has ever stepped off a ship, plane, bus or any other mode of conveyance on U.S. soil for the first time. However, for most, this dream does not come easy. It is a multistep, multiyear process that requirespersonal commitment, care and strict compliance with U.S. immigration laws and other regulations. Whether you are just starting out in the United States or think you may already qualify for naturalization, our NY immigration practice is proud to help you obtain citizenship. Our attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP can give you the guidance and assistance you need to complete naturalization and emerge as a full U.S. citizen.

The naturalization process

In many ways, the naturalization process begins the moment you arrive in America. The first step is to obtain a green card designating you as a lawful permanent resident of the United States. From that point, you must wait five years — three if you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen — before applying for citizenship through naturalization. During this period, you must be physically present in the United States for at least half that time — 18 months for spouses of citizens, 30 months for others. When the time for applying for naturalization approaches, you must also establish residency in a jurisdiction within the United States for at least three months. Some of these requirements may be waived for current or recently separated military personnel.

Once you have satisfied these requirements, you may file an application for naturalization. To  receive citizenship, however; you must demonstrate that you meet several additional requirements:

  • Pass the naturalization test — Most naturalization applicants must demonstrate that they can speak and read the English language. They must also pass a written and oral test demonstrating knowledge of basic U.S. history, civics and government.
  • Be a person of good moral character — While this is a mostly subjective requirement, it can pose an obstacle for applicants with substantial criminal records, immigration violations and other historical issues.

Hopefully, in the future, the path of citizenship can become open to those who entered the country unlawfully, but have since become contributing and valued members of society. Unfortunately, without comprehensive immigration reform — including passage of the DREAM Act and institution of the Z visa program — the naturalization process remains limited.

Contact us for help on your path to citizenship

Our attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP have assisted both new arrivals and established residents in NYC in understanding and navigating the naturalization process on their paths to citizenship. 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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