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Got a GC but enquiring about whether to apply for Citizenshiip

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  • Got a GC but enquiring about whether to apply for Citizenshiip

    Hi there

    So I have a 10 yr GC .... I have had it since 2006 now.
    I have 2 questions...

    First...
    I may have to leave the states for an extended period of time due to family illness back home. Do I risk losing my GC if I'm away for too long?

    Second ...
    How long do I have to wait in order to apply for Citizenship and dual passport? I've been in the States for 8.5 yrs ... with work visas... 2 yr conditional GC and now the 10 yr GC.
    and what implications are there if I had to be away for a while from the States?

    Thank you in advance for your time.

    ~C

  • #2
    Hi there

    So I have a 10 yr GC .... I have had it since 2006 now.
    I have 2 questions...

    First...
    I may have to leave the states for an extended period of time due to family illness back home. Do I risk losing my GC if I'm away for too long?

    Second ...
    How long do I have to wait in order to apply for Citizenship and dual passport? I've been in the States for 8.5 yrs ... with work visas... 2 yr conditional GC and now the 10 yr GC.
    and what implications are there if I had to be away for a while from the States?

    Thank you in advance for your time.

    ~C

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Duda,

      Welcome to ILW!

      For information on international travel, go here:

      http://www.immihelp.com/greencard/retain-greencard.html

      For Citizenship information, go here: (I copied a portion for you and used bold to highlight the section that pertains to your question. Lots of luck!

      http://www.expertlaw.com/library/imm...alization.html

      Eligibility for U.S. Citizenship

      For basic eligibility to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you must first a spend at least five years as a legal permanent resident of the United States, during which you did not take any trips abroad for more than six months, and were present in the United States for not less than half of the entire period (two-and-a-half years). Additional factors, such as marriage to a U.S. citizen, may affect eligibility for citizenship. The USCIS provides an online eligibility worksheet to help people determine their eligibility.

      Generally speaking, to qualify for citizenship, you must:

      Be a lawful permanent U.S. resident;

      Be 18 years of age or older;

      Be a permanent resident for not less than five years. (If a person obtained permanent residence through marriage to a U.S. citizen, they may be eligible for naturalization in three years if the couple has been married for 3 years, if the spouse was a citizen during that entire period, and if the couple are still living in marital unity);

      Have resided for not less than three months in the state where the petition was filed;

      Be physically present in the United States for at least one half of the five years (or one half of three if spouse is a citizen), with no absences longer than six months;

      Have resided continuously within the United States from the date the petition was filed to the time of admission to citizenship;

      Have been a person of good moral character for the five years of residence;

      Have an elementary level of reading and writing English. (Exceptions to this rule exist for persons over fifty, in the US for 20 years or more as a permanent resident; and for persons over 55 , in the US for 15 years as a permanent resident); and

      Have a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of U.S. government and history. (This requirement can be waived for people over 65 and have been permanent resident for 20 years.)

      Additionally, people may qualify for naturalization as a result of:

      Birth in the United States. All persons born in the United States are citizens regardless of the status of their parents. This is true whether the parents are citizens, green card holders, students, tourists, or illegal aliens.

      Acquisition at Birth. A child born outside the United States where one or both parents are United States citizens may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth.

      Derivation Through Naturalization of Parents. A child born outside the United States may become a citizen by virtue of the naturalization of his or her parents

      Comment


      • #4
        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">eligibility worksheet </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
        Thanks so much for your informative response

        I seem to qualify for citizenship except that I have a few questions.

        I was married to a USC for 3 yrs (it was a real marriage and we were together for 7 yrs) but we got divorced after 3 yrs and was finalized 6 months after that time.
        I had my conditional GC shortly after marriage for 2 yrs (2004 - 2006) and have had my 10 yr GC since 2006.
        DO I qualify to apply for citizenship since we're divorced now? The information I got (I checked the USCIS website) doesn't specify exactly.

        Other than that I've been living in CA the whole time and have only been out of the country a few times for short periods of time to visit family.

        Thanks again for your time

        Comment


        • #5
          I think to apply for citizenship within the 3 years time frame you need to be married with your USC spouse.Not only that u need to stay married till your oath ceremony day.

          For continous residency requirement I think u can stay outside USA not more than 6 months at a time.

          Even though after 6 months of staying outside USA, u can stay here just for one or two days and can again go back to outside USA.

          So every after 6 months if u stay here just for one day its fine.

          Comment


          • #6
            You must wait five years instead of three years after permanent residence was granted before you can apply for citizenship.

            here is a link hope it helps.

            http://www.hooyou.com/divorce/aftergc.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Bluebrightsky

              I figured t would be like that ... I'm fine with no becoming a USC yet... I just don't want to lose my GC.

              I'll be retaining my apt here and won't be away for more than 2 months at a time... but I will have to go back and forth for a couple of months at a time.
              Do you think they frown upon that? I know it says you can't be away for 6 months at a time .... and I won't be.... But throughout the whole year I possibly could be away for 6 months in total.

              Comment


              • #8
                Other members on this board can correct me if I'm wrong.

                I don't think you need to be here six months a year.

                The thing is, You can't be outside of the country for more than six months at a time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not only is there the amount of time spent out of the US at any given time, there is also from what I understand, you have to be physically present in the US for at least one half of the period of residence required for naturalization.
                  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  God Bless America - God Bless Immigrants - God Bless Poor Misguided Souls Too

                  National Domestic Violence Hotline:
                  1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    SprintGirl, just to keep the green card u need to do that or to be elizible to apply for citizenship?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Eligible for Citizenship you have to.

                      There are requirements to keep the Green card and requirements for Citizenship.

                      Some people can work aboard and keep their Green card, hence re-entry permits and so on.
                      For Naturalization there is the amount of time you have spent in the US. Often people who have resided abroad a lot of the time even with re-entry permits have had to start all over again because they have not spent enough time in the US to qualify for the N-400.

                      Just to add ....the required amount of physical presence will be also at the time of the interview, not just when you apply for the N-400.
                      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      God Bless America - God Bless Immigrants - God Bless Poor Misguided Souls Too

                      National Domestic Violence Hotline:
                      1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks Sprint_girl and Bluebrightsky...

                        Ok one more question... I have been in the US 90% of my residency with just going home once a year for a month or so....
                        SO if in the next year ...(could be two)... I'm away for a few months here and there... (never exceeding 6 months for sure) Does the USCIS count all the years I've been here (8.5yrs plus the future year) or do they just count how much I've been in the states in the last period?

                        I'm asking this question because eventually I would like to apply for citizenship. Ultimately after the family illness is dealt with I want to continue living here just as I have been for all these years. But I have to go back and forth a lot of this year and the next due to a parent being very ill.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think that would be ok Duda, it will be based on..say the 3 years..requirement will be 1.5 yrs, and 5 yrs will be 2.5 years total.

                          Now at the point of interview, then again at point of Oath Ceremony, they will count time going backwards from that point too, so if in the year you are waiting for your interview you spend more time out of the US, which brings the time requirement down and under the minimum requirement then you will be denied.
                          Does that make sense? lol sorry, hope I made sense with all that.

                          Like someone mentioned before, just be careful not to spend too long out at one time otherwise they may think you have abandoned your GC.
                          For Citizenship you see, they want to see that you really want it and that you want to be here in the US and make this your home.
                          If LPR's spend a lot of time out of the US and go home for example they may thing you really don't want to stay but only get the USC title. That is why they have the requirement, otherwise everyone would abuse the system, get their citizenship and go back home and only use their USC when it suits them.

                          Remember when you apply you have to list all the days spent outside the US, and when you go for the interview you will be asked again if since the application you have left the US at anytime. You must be truthful.

                          If you do go a few times, I would make notes of the dates and probably save the plane ticket stubs or something to remind you when you went and if necessary to show them.
                          You can tell them why you had to go, I am sure they would understand.
                          -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          God Bless America - God Bless Immigrants - God Bless Poor Misguided Souls Too

                          National Domestic Violence Hotline:
                          1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.

                          Comment



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