What to Know About Naturalization in New York

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What to Know About Naturalization in New York

The process of naturalization can be complex, but knowing what to expect can make it easier. Read on to learn more about the process.

How Can I Obtain Naturalization?

There are three main ways one can obtain citizenship, including:

  • Family-based: This is an option if you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen.
  • Employment-based: There are many different work visas available. For example, visas for professional employees, unskilled workers, and student visas to name a few.
  • Refugee/ Asylum: If you were admitted to the U.S. as a refugee, you must apply for permanent residency one year after your entry into the U.S. If you were granted asylum, you can apply for permanent residency one year after being granted asylum status.

Am I Eligible for Naturalization?

In order to obtain citizenship, you must be 18 years of age or older, and meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are a permanent resident, have served in the U.S. military, and have lived in the U.S. for at least three years.
  • You are the spouse of a U.S. citizen and have lived in the U.S. for at least three years.
  • You have been granted asylum and have lived in the U.S. for four years.
  • You have had a permanent resident status for five years and have lived in the U.S. during that time.
    • You must establish a residence and prove that you have been physically present in the U.S. If you have a single absence for more than a year, you may not be eligible for citizenship. Additionally, being absent from the country for more than six consecutive months may disrupt the continuity of your residency.

Background Checks

An important part of the process is your background check. If you have committed certain crimes, you may not be able to obtain citizenship. Some of the crimes that can impact the process include:

  • Domestic violence
  • Battery
  • Theft
  • Assault
  • Homicide
  • Rape
  • Drug crimes


The majority of citizenship applicants are required to take an exam to test their knowledge of the English language, and basic U.S. history and government.

If you have any questions about the naturalization process, reach out to our experienced firm today. We are here to walk you through the process every step of the way.


Katona & Associates, PLLC is an experienced, highly dedicated New York City immigration law firm located in lower Manhattan. Our firm works with clients in all matters of immigration law, including employment immigration, family immigration, deportation defense, green cards, and citizenship. Contact us to discuss your case and get the help you need.

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