Several pathways exist for immigrants to obtain U.S. citizenship in the state of New York. Whether you are already living in the country with a temporary work visa, have become a lawful permanent resident, or live outside the U.S. and desire to enter the country legally, federal law stipulates a specific process for your path to citizenship. Because it is a complicated, time-consuming process that requires extensive legal knowledge and unerring attention to detail, you should consult an experienced immigration attorney to learn how to properly complete this process.
At Tsigler Law, our award-winning team of immigration attorneys has decades of combined experience helping immigrants succeed in obtaining U.S. citizenship. We have the skills and resources to ensure your citizenship application is completed thoroughly and according to federal guidelines so you will have the peace of mind that comes with superior legal representation. Our team of expert immigration attorneys is committed to bringing you the best results and boasts an impressive history of assisting thousands of individuals acquiring U.S. citizenship in New York.
Requirements for U.S. Citizenship
People born in the U.S. to parents who hold U.S. citizenship generally receive automatic citizenship. In contrast, people born outside of the U.S. to parents without U.S. citizenship must go through the process of naturalization to become a citizen. To apply for U.S. citizenship, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Aged 18 years or older on the date of filing for citizenship by naturalization
- Considered a legal permanent resident (LPR) for a minimum of 5 years before becoming eligible for naturalization
- Have continuous residence in the country as an LPR for a minimum of 5 years immediately prior to the date the application is filed and up to the date citizenship is granted
- Maintained a physical presence in the U.S. for a minimum of 30 months during the five years immediately prior to the date the application is filed
- Lived in the state at the noted place of residence for a minimum of 3 months before filing the application for naturalization
- Demonstrated “good moral character” during the five years prior to the date the application is filed and throughout the period preceding the Oath of Allegiance administration
- Holds the principles of the U.S. Constitution in high regard and is devoted to the order and peace of the country and the happiness of its citizens
- Able to understand, speak, read, and write in the English language
- Displays knowledge of U.S. history and the workings of the government
Applying for Citizenship by Naturalization
Obtaining citizenship by naturalization involves a long, extensive application and interview proceedings, hopefully concluding with a judge administering an oath of citizenship. Practically speaking, the journey to citizenship begins the moment you enter the country and continues throughout your pursuit of lawful permanent residency. Officially, the naturalization process begins when you file a specific set of materials with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The materials required to petition for U.S. citizenship include:
- A completed application for Naturalization Form N-400
- A copy of your green card
- Two photographs of you printed in passport size
- Filing fees, consisting of a $595 application fee and an $85 biometric fee for applicants 75 years of age and younger
After your application is processed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment so you can be fingerprinted. You may be asked to submit additional supporting documentation that was not part of your initial application but considered essential after your application was reviewed. Next, you will be called in to participate in an interview with a Citizenship and Immigration Services officer, who will ask you questions regarding the information in your application and administer the Naturalization Test. If you pass and meet all other requirements for citizenship, you will take the Oath of Citizenship, making you an official U.S. citizen.
How Long Does the Naturalization Process Take?
The amount of time that passes between filing your application for citizenship by naturalization and when you are scheduled to take the Oath of Citizenship is dependent on several factors. The volume of applications being handled by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office will influence this timeframe. Currently, the average processing time for the New York City offices is approximately nine months. This estimate can vary in the future and can increase or decrease based on the inclusion of any unique circumstances or complexities in your case.
Tsigler Law Can Support Your Journey to Citizenship
Contact Tsigler Law today with any of your questions regarding the process of applying for citizenship by naturalization. Our dedicated team of knowledgeable, compassionate immigration attorneys boasts decades of experience helping people like you obtain U.S. citizenship in New York. We know all the details of this complex process and can expertly navigate you through every step to ensure the best results. Call us today at (718) 473-9939 to set up your free consultation, or contact us online.