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Thread: Got a GC but enquiring about whether to apply for Citizenshiip

  1. #1
    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. #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

  3. #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

  4. #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

  5. #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.

  6. #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

  7. #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.

  8. #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.

  9. #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.
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  10. #10
    SprintGirl, just to keep the green card u need to do that or to be elizible to apply for citizenship?

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