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CitizenShip Eligibility- How soon can i get it?

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  • CitizenShip Eligibility- How soon can i get it?

    Mohan,
    I want to know how soon ic an apply for Citizenship based on my background info:

    I got my GC in Sept 1996. I stayed in US for a month and a half and went back to my native country in Oct 1996 on a Re-entry permit of 2 years. I re-entered US in Sept 1998 for a brief period of 3 weeks just to keep my GC alive. I again applied for Re-entry permit just before i left US in Oct 1998. After 2 yrs outside again, i came back to work here in US in Oct 2000. Eversince then i have lived here continuously. SO basically it is like :
    Sept 1996 - Got GC
    Oct 1996 - Left US on Re-Entry Permit
    Sept 1998 - Re-Entered US
    Oct 1998 - Left US on another Re-Entry Permit
    OCt 2000 - Re-entered US and stayed here permanently

    I had been outside of US for almost 4 yrs after i got my GC since i was in College back in my native country ,persuing a BS which i didn't want to abandon. Now i am desperately seeking citizenship as my wife can't come here due to the fact that iam just an LPR. It takes 4-5 yrs for her to join me . Thats why i wanted to know how early i can apply for Citizenship.

    Based on what was said on INS site and on this forum, since i had a re-entry permit, i should be eligible for Citizenship 4 years and 1 day starting from Oct 2000. I wanted to confirm this fact , and also wanted to know if i could have any problems during my citizenship application since i was outside US initially for a long period. I can prove my reasons for being Outside (My BS degree that i acquired during that period). Also , i have paid my taxes on time regularly since 2000.
    Mohan , could you please tell me if my case is complicated enough to warrant a lawyer when i go for citizenship application? Besides do you see any problems if any?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Mohan,
    I want to know how soon ic an apply for Citizenship based on my background info:

    I got my GC in Sept 1996. I stayed in US for a month and a half and went back to my native country in Oct 1996 on a Re-entry permit of 2 years. I re-entered US in Sept 1998 for a brief period of 3 weeks just to keep my GC alive. I again applied for Re-entry permit just before i left US in Oct 1998. After 2 yrs outside again, i came back to work here in US in Oct 2000. Eversince then i have lived here continuously. SO basically it is like :
    Sept 1996 - Got GC
    Oct 1996 - Left US on Re-Entry Permit
    Sept 1998 - Re-Entered US
    Oct 1998 - Left US on another Re-Entry Permit
    OCt 2000 - Re-entered US and stayed here permanently

    I had been outside of US for almost 4 yrs after i got my GC since i was in College back in my native country ,persuing a BS which i didn't want to abandon. Now i am desperately seeking citizenship as my wife can't come here due to the fact that iam just an LPR. It takes 4-5 yrs for her to join me . Thats why i wanted to know how early i can apply for Citizenship.

    Based on what was said on INS site and on this forum, since i had a re-entry permit, i should be eligible for Citizenship 4 years and 1 day starting from Oct 2000. I wanted to confirm this fact , and also wanted to know if i could have any problems during my citizenship application since i was outside US initially for a long period. I can prove my reasons for being Outside (My BS degree that i acquired during that period). Also , i have paid my taxes on time regularly since 2000.
    Mohan , could you please tell me if my case is complicated enough to warrant a lawyer when i go for citizenship application? Besides do you see any problems if any?

    Thanks.

    Comment


    • #3
      You will have to count your period from October 2000 when you came and settled in the United States permanently. You can apply after 5 years stay. You can send your application for Naturalization sometime in August or September, 2005.
      Good luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        You can apply in August 2005 unless you do not go out of the United States for more than 6 months.

        Comment


        • #5
          You will also have to file Income Tax returns from 1996 onward.

          Comment


          • #6
            Umesh/Ins Officer,
            I have couple of question based on what you have mentioned.
            I had read on the INS website Which Says -Once you get GC, and suppose you go outside of US for more than a year, then you can apply for citizenship 4 years and 1 day starting from the day you return to US. Doesn't that apply to me? I got my GC in 1996 and went outside of US and returned back in Oct 2000. Going by that should it be Oct 2004 ( 4 year + 1 day) ,instead of 2005 as suggested by you guys?

            In fact page 21 of INS Naturalization Guide, mentions this too. On page 22, there us an example too. I looked at the INS Questionaire for eligibilty too, and it mentions the same.

            Also, i never worked b/w 1996 and 2000, plus i was outside of US. Why should i have had to file my taxes for that period? Since 2000 , i have been filing regulary as i been working here.

            Could please give me more clarification on this? Iam in desperation to know what is right for me wrt to citizenship. If its going to be 2005 and beyond, i wil have to give up US as i can't take this separation from my fiancee ne more. I am planning to marry her this year, but iam not sure how to get her here. Her parents and neither me ,like the idea of her waiting for me for 4-5 years to come here.There is nothing in INS law that allows the wife of an GC holder to come to US immedietly. We are lawful residents , and pay taxes , but still the INS doesn't allow our significant other to come and stay with us. This is really bad!!!

            Please let me know ,what i can do.

            Comment


            • #7
              Waiting for Citizenship. I am in the same position as you and know how it feels. I don't know much about the 4 years and 1 day rule, but it sounds like it applies to you. Best to check with a good lawyer.

              The lawyer I spoke to said it is possible for my wife to come to the U.S.A. on an H1B visa. Unfortunately she does not have the 4 year college degree required. Religious workers can also come this way.

              The only other hope is that some congressmen want to extend the V visa to cover people like us. Lets hope they succeed..

              Comment


              • #8
                Waiting for Citizenship
                Guest

                Search Guest-111
                you will get Answer.

                You can file 4 years and 1 day after your last reentry permit.
                You have to file last 5 years of IRS Form 1040 or 1040NR if applicable and State Tax.
                ok
                All the best

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am do some more research and i'll have to decide. From what i have read and known, the 4 years + 1 day applies to me , but Umesh replied in the negative...thats why i was concerned.
                  I can try to gt my fiancee on H1 as she has 4 year college Degree in IT, but then getting a new H1 is getting very difficult as nobody wants to sponspor new H1s in this economic climate.

                  The sad thing is neither INS nor the US congress has done anything about this matter for the last 10+ years. My cousins went through this same painful situation and it took a good 4.5 years for their wives to join them here.

                  In my case , i hoped to get my fiancee on student or H1B visa....but to my ill-luck nothing has worked out after 9/11 and visa tighting.

                  can only hope for an early citizenship thats all.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sorry, student visa won't be possible. Research on "dual intent" visas. As far as I know, and I'm not an immigration lawyer, only H and L visas allow an immigrant dual intent - that is to visit or work temporarily while they have an intent to immigrate.

                    Another alternative suggested to me was to abandon my green card and then take an H1B visa myself. This would allow my spouse to get an H4. With 9/11 and its aftermath, I ended up deciding to just wait out for citizenship. Now I watch the N400 lines get longer as INS is just getting bogged down. I don't think Homeland Security is going to be any better.

                    Good Luck

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You are right. You can file after 4 years and one month e.g. November 2004. But do not forget to file your income tax returns starting from 1996 till the time you apply for citizenship, both Federal and State.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hmm, based on what you suggested INS Officer : What should i do now if i didn't file any tax returns for 1997,1998 and 1999? I never worked in US , had no source of income from US, then why do i need to file returns for those years?
                        I did file for 1996 as i had worked during that year, and for the years 2000,2001 and now for 2002.
                        I think since i had no source of income during that period, i need not file i guess. Whom should i confirm this from?

                        Kent,
                        I agree with you that the INS is now taking a long time to process N-400s. Hopefully , the new dept that replaces INS will expedite the process...or as you say it may do the opposite.
                        I tried for a H1B visa for my fiancee, but getting that is now becoming very difficult. Its tough i tell you. Since u r in my position, you can feel it better. We can no other option i guess other than wait for citizenship, and hope that the process is smooth.
                        Does any one know if the V-Visa be extended to give reprive for all ppl who have spouses outside US?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hello, Kent! Just want to say that in this case F-visa is stil an option. I personaly know 2 twin guys, who couldn't join their dad when he got the green card,because they were over 21, but they were able to join him thru appling to a University at the same city and already graduated and will now obtain a green card based on their dad's petition. So you really need to study this option as well to get your wife here. Good luck!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Lilly,

                            Thanks for the suggestion. In my reading, I have found that INS specifically states that H1 and L visa holders can have dual intent. Though not in their manual, practice also allows E and possibly O and P visas. Everything I read rules out any visa such as B or F that requires evidence that the visitor will return to their own country before the visa expires.

                            Could you share more information on how the twins did it?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Waiting for Citizenship:

                              After becoming LPR, you will have to file tax return even if you are overseas. Overseas American Consualtes have every forms available in order to assist you filing the tax returns. You should contact HR Block. Without all tax return, your application for Naturlaization will be denied. Therefore, apply well prepared. Good Luck.

                              Comment



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