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lehan

N400 Question Part 7

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Hi,

I am filing based on 3-year eligibility being married to a US citizen, and have a question on Part 7 of Form N400 regarding time outside the US.

A. How many total days did you spend outside the United States during the past 5 years?

Given I am filing based on 3 years of residency, how do I respond to this question? Should I caculate days outside the US during the past 3 years only? Or do I need to calculate against the 5 years. The 5 years will include the period before I moved to the US and became a US resident.

Thank you!

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Somewhere it is stated that when you file using the 3 year rule, everywhere a question says 5 you read it as 3 and answer accordingly. Just list the trips for the last 3 years.

I found that when I filed my N-400 but trying to find the source just now I can't find it again.

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My attorney advised us to answer that question literally, that didn't get us into trouble as wife's IO wanted the total number of days she was out of the country from adding the days in that table. Wife could only respond, why didn't they ask that, like how many days have you spent out of the country as a LPR?

If we had to do it again, would leave it blank with an attached sheet stating the number of days our of the country for the last five years, and then the number of days spent outside of the country as a LPR. Can be filled in at the interview.

Not even sure why they are even asking this question, with our present global economy, seems like my oldest son is spending more time in China then here, that is where the manufacturing is taking place. And why should they care as long as you are paying taxes to the IRS.

Thought for sure with the new USCIS director, they would change this question as well as organizations you have contributed to, says nothing about organizations that are against our US Constitution, so attorney advised to list all organizations we contributed to, like the American Red Cross and the United Fund as just two examples.

I personally don't see how you can get into trouble if you list the number of days you were out of the country in the last five years, that is what that question asks. Wife was close to 400 and some odd days. But can visualize getting into trouble if you change that five to a three if you get stuck with some dingbat of an IO. Because that is NOT what that question asks.

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Hi Lehan,

For the addresses/residences and employment/work section...I listed the five years (including my Canadian address and history)....

No harm in doing such there....

But for the travel section, I crossed out five and wrote "three-applying based on marriage" and listed three years only....

Reason being, that I haven't been in the USA for 5 years..And to count time outside of the USA since then doesn't make sense, since I wasn't here in the first place for 5 years to begin with....and if I would have listed the days outside of the country for 5 years..then counting those days, from a literal level, I would have listed too many days out of the country and would been ineligible for citizenship (which is not true)...Do you get what I'm saying here?

Needless to say, I had no problems during my immigration interview regarding that....

Hope this helps. Good luck with the rest of your journey too.

Ant

Hi,

I am filing based on 3-year eligibility being married to a US citizen, and have a question on Part 7 of Form N400 regarding time outside the US.

A. How many total days did you spend outside the United States during the past 5 years?

Given I am filing based on 3 years of residency, how do I respond to this question? Should I caculate days outside the US during the past 3 years only? Or do I need to calculate against the 5 years. The 5 years will include the period before I moved to the US and became a US resident.

Thank you!

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Somewhere it is stated that when you file using the 3 year rule, everywhere a question says 5 you read it as 3 and answer accordingly. Just list the trips for the last 3 years.

I found that when I filed my N-400 but trying to find the source just now I can't find it again.

We also looked everywhere for some kind of clarification but were not able to find one. If you do find the statement please do post it. Thanks!

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Hi Lehan,

For the addresses/residences and employment/work section...I listed the five years (including my Canadian address and history)....

No harm in doing such there....

But for the travel section, I crossed out five and wrote "three-applying based on marriage" and listed three years only....

Reason being, that I haven't been in the USA for 5 years..And to count time outside of the USA since then doesn't make sense, since I wasn't here in the first place for 5 years to begin with....and if I would have listed the days outside of the country for 5 years..then counting those days, from a literal level, I would have listed too many days out of the country and would been ineligible for citizenship (which is not true)...Do you get what I'm saying here?

Needless to say, I had no problems during my immigration interview regarding that....

Hope this helps. Good luck with the rest of your journey too.

Ant

Well I have only been outside the US once for a period of 3.5 weeks in the past 3 years. So I would assume that would be the duration I should list?

It does not make sense to list anything more than the three years since I was not even living in the US then!

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I just accounted for the last 3 years of the qualifying period based on a marriage to US citizen application. I crossed out the 5 where it was written and wrote in 3. Basically, if you are applying based on three years of marriage, you are not required to provide time spent outside of the US before you became a permanent resident. I had no issues or problems doing that and it was not mentioned during the interview.

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We also looked everywhere for some kind of clarification but were not able to find one. If you do find the statement please do post it. Thanks!

We did it that way. Years ago, there was an attorney who posted that suggestion, but I'd have a very hard time digging up the post. I think he said he got it from an official in the USCIS, but I couldn't say for sure. I haven't found any more official confirmation of that suggestion, except many posts from various VJ members who reported success doing it that way.

I will note that careful reading of INA 319(a) and 8 CFR 319.1 will tell you that the law only allows them to make their decision based on the previous three years, not five, for the matters addressed in those questions. So the three years is definitely what matters. But nowhere in INA 319(a) or 8 CFR 319.1 does it give you permission to mislead or reinterpret the questions the way you think they want them as you're filling out the forms. And the questions very clearly ask about five years, not three.

So if you want to take the form literally and answer for the past five years, you'll definitely be OK. But at the interview, they'll have to figure out the answer for the past three years.

If you answer for the past three years, be sure you make it very clear to them that your answer concerns only the past three years, in order to stay well clear of any possibility that someone could suggest that there might be some misrepresentation issues.

But yes, people here have reported success doing it either way. In fact, I can't recall anyone reporting a problem regardless of how they interpreted those questions.

I wish they'd just revise the form. It would be simple if they would reword things to say something like, "... during the past five years (three years if you checked box B in Part 2) ..."

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