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  • Naturalization case after extended presence abroad

    Hi everyone,

    I am a US permanent resident. I received that status on 03/02/2001. Since 04/17/2002 I have been residing overseas and working for a US company, but have been maintaining my green card by traveling every 6 months to the US. The longest time that I stayed outside of the US since becoming a permanent resident was 174 days.
    My question is: if I am to return to the US, would I be able to apply for naturalization within 30 months or will I have to wait 4 years? Technically, as far as I understand, I never broke my continuous residence since I never left the US for longer than 6 months but I did come close (174 days) and I wonder if BCIS will find me ineligible for naturalization for that reason.
    Has anyone here dealt with something like that? Any word of advice?
    Thanks!

  • #2
    Hi everyone,

    I am a US permanent resident. I received that status on 03/02/2001. Since 04/17/2002 I have been residing overseas and working for a US company, but have been maintaining my green card by traveling every 6 months to the US. The longest time that I stayed outside of the US since becoming a permanent resident was 174 days.
    My question is: if I am to return to the US, would I be able to apply for naturalization within 30 months or will I have to wait 4 years? Technically, as far as I understand, I never broke my continuous residence since I never left the US for longer than 6 months but I did come close (174 days) and I wonder if BCIS will find me ineligible for naturalization for that reason.
    Has anyone here dealt with something like that? Any word of advice?
    Thanks!

    Comment


    • #3
      A friend of mine was an LPR for 12 years, then took jobs overseas. He was told by INS that in order to naturalize, he would have to return to the U.S. and spend another 2.5 years before he could naturalize. In other words, your physical presence in the U.S. is apparently what counts for naturalization.

      Comment


      • #4
        Go and read my post to fasoola.
        It appears that you have not broken residence... yet.
        You still have to meet physical presence, spend one half the required residence actually in the US.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks guys!
          Two more questions: can I count the 350 days that I spent in the US after becoming a permanent resident and prior to relocation overseas, as well as the time spent in the US during semiannual visits to the states toward the 30-month physical presence requirement? And what does INS mean by "trips longer than 6 months"? Is it 180 days or do they actually count the days in a given six month period? Would I be OK if I was away for 174 days or would INS claim that I broke continuous residence?
          Thanks a bunch!

          Comment


          • #6
            Greg,
            Sounds like you are the same boat as I am. I have never been out of the US for more than 6 months and never for a 1 year. When I add all my days out it comes to 28 months from the 60 months, so technically I have fulfilled my physical presence in the States. Hope this helps. I plan to apply in a month time

            Comment


            • #7
              fasoola,

              I got a response from an attorney on this. He tells that the 60/30 month requirement is a "moving target", i.e. BCIS looks at how many days / months you have spent in the US during the MOST RECENT 60 months prior to your application for naturalization. So, if your 28 months of presence occurred during the most recent 60 months, than I guess you should be in good shape.

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