Naturalization and Citizenship

Around the world, citizenship is a distinctive and universal feature of the modern political landscape. As a citizen of the United States, you can benefit from unique rights and obligations that existing between the US and its citizens.


U.S. Citizenship may be acquired by:


  1. Birth: U.S. citizenship may be acquired by birth in the United States or by birth overseas to one or more U.S. citizen parents.

  2. Naturalization: U.S. citizenship may also be acquired by naturalization, which requires filling the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization and satisfaction of statutory eligibility and documentary requirements with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

  3. Derivation: Children born outside United States may automatically derive U.S. citizenship if a parent is a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalizes before the child reaches the age of 18, and certain other conditions are met.


Eligibility Requirements


To qualify for naturalization, an applicant must be a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), be at least 18 years old at the time of filing the application (unless exempted from the age requirements), meet the physical presence and continuance presence requirements, must be a person of good moral character and comply with the Selective Service Registration (if applicable).


In addition, the applicant must show commitment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution. Such commitment is demonstrated by taking a full oath of allegiance to the United States government and passing a history and government literacy test.


There are certain special classes of immigrants that may be eligible for accelerated naturalization:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens may naturalize after only three (3) years of legal permanent resident (LPR) status.

  • Lawful Permanent Resident Children under 18 residing in the U.S., in the legal and physical custody of a citizen parent/s may acquire citizenship derivatively

  • A VAWA applicant (battered spouse or child) may apply for naturalization after three years of obtaining LPR status.

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens stationed abroad and members of U.S. Armed Force and Seaman.


Our Legal Services


When you retain the services of this Firm to prepare and assist you with your naturalization, we will review the facts of your case to determine whether you meet the eligibility statutory requirements. In addition, we will screen your case for any potential red flags such as:


  • Examine whether any criminal convictions will prevent you from citizenship

  • Determine whether any criminal convictions or past behavior put you at risk of removal proceedings when applying for citizenship

  • Consider the effects of extended travel abroad during the U.S. residence period

  • Resolve tax problems prior to the application for citizenship

  • Determine whether any divorce or employment problems threaten the interests of legal permanent residents whose original visas were based on marriage or work

  • Identify grounds for claiming derivative citizenship or acquired citizenship based on family circumstances

  • Get a waiver of the citizenship test or language requirements for people over 55 or who have lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years

  • Get a waiver for applicants who cannot meet the educational requirements because of a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment.


Naturalization Adjudication Process


The naturalization adjudication process commences with filing the naturalization application, N-400, and supporting documentation. After filing, the applicant will be scheduled for a biometric interview at a USCIS application support center.


Naturalization Interview Experience


A naturalization interview is typically scheduled within several months of submitting the application. After passing the citizenship test and the agency’s approval of the naturalization application, the applicant must take an oath of allegiance to the United States government. An oath ceremony is scheduled either the same day or subsequent to the interview.

If you have any questions regarding applying for naturalization, please call 201-379-4040 or write to

The Law Office of Carolina T. Curbelo, LLC

Ridgewood Location:

45 North Broad Street, 1st Floor

Ridgewood, New Jersey 07450

West New York Location:

6700 Bergenline Avenue West

New York, NJ 07093

Tel. (201) 379-4040

Fax (201) 379-4777

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