Lee & Garasia, LLC
  • Tel: 732-516-1717
  • Toll free: 888-404-5876
Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence for Over 20 Years
  • "Lee and Garasia are excellent lawyers, punctual and professional. They are dedicated to going above and beyond the usual level of service to meet your client's needs. Their staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and polite. I would highly... recommend this firm to anyone." Read More

  • "I would definitely recommend Mr.Lee and Garasia as an immigration attorney because they did a great job with my case i.e. of Adjustment of Status (i-485). Mr. Lee helped us in each and every detailed information and prepared to the best of it. It was all well done and would like to appreciate." Read More

  • "I would like to thank my lawyer Mr Lee & Garasia and the staff for all immense help and patience throughout this entire process, I really appreciate your constant attention to my case, as well to my questions and my concerns. You've really made this process much more comprehensive to me, which I greatly appreciate." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee and Ms. Garasia did a great job with my renewal of my permanent residence application. They help prepare the paperwork with such a great attention to details and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee did a great job with the renewal of my permanent residence application. My case was very time sensitive and they worked really fast on my case with great detail and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "I would recommend Attorney Paris Lee for anybody who needs immigration consultation. Mr. Lee is THE lawyer who respects and cares clients. Mr. Lee is professional and honest. Bottom line, preparation for the results and NO BS!" Read More

  • "Stalin - Lee did a wonderful job, Got my wife her visa in one year. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for all your immigration needs." Read More

  • "Hello. I appoint him as my immigration lawyer and that way he solved my cases was truly amazing. He was so honest and knowledgeable for his work.He solved my all family immigration issues and because of his effort we were able to get done our immigration work done successful. Thank you lee and garasia." Read More

  • "Lee & Garasia stand for accountability and responsibility. They are reliable, honest and are always constructively looking for a solution. A big thanks :)" Read More

Do I Need A Lawyer To Apply To Become An American Citizen in New Jersey?

The first answer is "no." Lawful permanent residents are certainly entitled to apply on their own to become naturalized citizens. For most people, the process entails filling out the N-400, appearing for fingerprints (or biometrics) and then for an interview in which the applicant will be tested on his/her knowledge of American civics and ability to speak, read, and write English. For people who don't have issues, they may not need an attorney provided that they are comfortable enough to appear and perform well during the examination.

The better question, of course, is, should I get the help of a lawyer to become an American citizen? If you can afford to, it certainly would be to your benefit. For example, the average layperson may not recognize what can be an issue with the case. Typical but by no means an exhaustive list of topics which an immigration attorney may need to explore the implications of include:

· Any and all criminal arrests/convictions;

· Long or frequent trips abroad, especially any trips 180 days or more;

· Registration for selective service, or lack thereof;

· Party or group affiliations;

· Marital history;

· Filing of income taxes;

· Manner in which permanent residence was obtained

Issues in any of the above areas can make what is seemingly a simple naturalization case an extremely complex one. The immigration attorney will be able to assess the impact and consequences of these type of circumstances and should be able to recommend whether applying for naturalization is viable.

What Can An Attorney Do At The Interview?

Many people are under the misimpression that attorneys are not allowed inside the examination room during the interview. Wrong. If that were the case, we wouldn't be doing what we have been doing for more than almost sixteen years. Attorneys are absolutely allowed inside the interview room. Your representative will have to present a signed and executed G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance As Attorney, to the Information Services Officer (ISO), but once that is furnished, the attorney should be permitted to be present. The presence of an attorney can be extremely beneficial to the applicant. While the attorney can neither answer the test questions nor translate for the client, his or her presence is nevertheless invaluable because he/she is there as an official witness on your behalf to ensure that the interview is conducted fairly. For example, you are required to answer six out of ten history questions correctly during the civics portion of the examination. What if you answered six correctly, but the officer, due to inattentiveness or some sort of misunderstanding, thinks that you only answered five correctly? Wouldn't you want an attorney there to help you prove that you did? More importantly, while the attorney may not take the test for you or help you to answer the questions, he or she may need to speak on your behalf to address any procedural irregularities or even discuss any legal issues.  Additionally, sometimes an officer may not be able to approve a case even though the applicant may have already passed the test because he/she would like to examine further documents. This request is usually issued on Form N-14. A knowledgeable attorney will be in a much better position to understand the N-14 and help you procure the necessary information.

So while many people may not necessarily need an attorney to help them become citizens, there are also many out there who may, but just don't realize they do until it is too late.  At the very least, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney even if you have no intention of hiring an attorney to file the application or be present with you at the interview.  The consultation will at least confirm what you already know, or it may, in some cases, make you aware of things that you may want to consider.    

We hope that you have enjoyed this article and learned at least one new thing or tip that you may not have known. To keep informed about the latest developments in immigration law, please subscribe to our blog feed by clicking on the "Subscribe To This Blog's Feed" button on the right. It is important to understand that the above is only general information. The law is extremely fact and circumstance sensitive. For an individual legal analysis of your specific legal case, please complete the "Case Evaluation" box to the right of the screen to get in touch with one of our attorneys.

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    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb
    • Client Distinction Award | 2016 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
    • New Jersey State Bar Association | Paris Lee Chair - Immigration Section 2015-2016
    • Nationally Recognized | Newsweek Nationwide Showcase | Top Attorneys 2013
    • New Jersey Chapter | American Immigration Lawyers Association | Angie Garasia | Chapter Chair 2015-2016
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Lee & Garasia, LLC
190 State Route 27
Edison, NJ 08820

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