Immigration waiting times have grown far longer in recent years, and the number of pending applications for U.S. citizenship submitted by green card holders in New York and around the country currently stands at almost 650,000. Many of these permanent residents are likely to be disappointed when they do hear from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as about 78,000 applications for naturalization are denied each year.
Individuals who are looking to become permanent residents in the United States may need to provide evidence that they have a good moral character. The application process may include a court deposition or another statement given directly to an immigration official. If an individual looking to live in New York or any other state refuses to provide additional evidence, it may influence an immigration official's ruling. However, refusal to give a statement or submit to a court deposition in itself would not disqualify someone from obtaining legal residency.
Permanent residents who live in New York and who are married to American citizens may be eligible to become citizens themselves. This is true if a person has had a green card for at least three years and has had the same spouse during that time period. Furthermore, that individual must have resided in the United States for three years prior to applying to become a naturalized citizen.
Foreign nationals living in New York who wish to become U.S. citizens through the process of naturalization must fulfill several requirements. They must be at least 18 years old, and there is a requirement to demonstrate a good knowledge of English and pass a civics test although these may be waived for elderly applicants who are permanent residents. These requirements might also be waived for people with certain mental conditions. Applicants must possess an I-551.