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.
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:
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.
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.