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About to move to the US - how much time do I have to spend there to become a citizen?

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I have been fortunate enough to be granted a green card and will be moving to the USA from Canada sometime in the next five weeks. Ideally, I would like to become a US citizen five years after entering the country, as I believe that would be the minimum time to apply for it, provided I don't get married to an American in the meantime.

How many months per year do I have to spend in the USA to "maintain" or "make the days count" towards the citizenship application? The reason I ask is because I would ideally like to be able to come back up to Canada a few times a year to work, as I can make a lot more money up here than I think I'll be able to in the USA. Will they give me a hard time coming back and forth across the border if I were to come to Canada to work for say, two months out of the year every year for the next five years?

I am getting a bit confused reading through some of the topics here. Do I just need to show that I've been present in the USA for 30 out of the next 60 months in order to apply for citizenship? Does this mean I could theoretically cross the border, have the green card mailed to my US address, then come back to Canada, work for six months less a day, go back to the USA for six months plus a day, and then back to Canada for six months and so on for the next five years?

Would love to live here in Canada from April 1-September 30 each year and then head somewhere warm like California, Hawaii or Florida for the rest of the year, all while having that time count towards the US citizenship requirements.

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GC to live and work here permanently not your tourist visa. They will revoke it if they see your traveling pattern.


N400

12/06/2014: Package filed

12/31/2014: Fingerprinted

02/06/2015: In-Line for Interview

04/15/2015: Passed Interview

05/05/2015: Oath letter was sent

05/22/2015: Oath Ceremony

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Thanks for the responses.

So what is the rule regarding entering/exiting the country? For example, my father has been a GC holder since 2002 and has come up to visit me numerous times and never had any problems getting back into the USA. Is there a set number of days each year I must remain in the USA in order to not risk losing the GC?

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It's all about intent and how long each trip is.

I would maintain an address in the USA for the full five years (with utilities, etc) and the semblance of a life (doctor, dentist, ...). Each time you re-enter the US they will ask how long you were out the US and what the purpose of your visit was and what you do in the US (every time I entered they asked me). If your only employment is in Canada I think you'll have a problem, and you may find maintaining two households could eat into the gains of working in Canada.

So - probably doable, but risky and it may not be worth it at the end of the day.


08/12/2010 => Day 00 => Package sent to Chicago lockbox

08/13/2010 => Day 01 => Package received and signed for in Chicago

08/23/2010 => Day 11 => Email and Text receipt notification

08/23/2010 => Day 11 => Cheques cashed - $1010 and $355

08/26/2010 => Day 14 => NOAs received in the mail

08/30/2010 => Day 18 => Received biometrics appointment letter (for 9/23)

09/03/2010 => Day 22 => Did walk-in biometrics

09/16/2010 => Day 35 => Received interview letter for 10/21

10/15/2010 => Day 64 => AP received

10/20/2010 => Day 69 => EAC received

10/21/2010 => Day 70 => AOS Interview, approved, I-551 stamp and card production ordered

10/30/2010 => Day 79 => Green card received

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Taking a job in another country shows intent to not live in the US, you have to file taxes every year and report your worldwide income. They look closely at these things in going for citizenship. If you don't want to live in the US then don't bother with the GC , Canadians have very liberal visiting rights


This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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I'd like to add that marrying a U.S. citizen won't change anything for you at this point. Since you didn't obtain your green card through marriage, you have to wait 5 years (and follow all the rules) to apply for naturalization. The only way to use the 3-year marriage naturalization rule would be for you to give up your current green card and re-start the process by applying for a green card through marriage, which would be silly if you already have one (and you haven't at this point even met this hypothetical spouse).


Naturalization

November 10th, 2014 (Day 0) - Mailed N-400 to Arizona Lockbox

November 13th, 2014 (Day 1) - Application received in Phoenix

November 14th, 2014 (Day 2) - Priority date on NOA

November 17th, 2014 (Day 5) - Check cashed

November 19th, 2014 (Day 7) - NOA received

November 29th, 2014 (Day 17) - Biometrics appointment letter received

December 1st, 2014 (Day 19) - Walk-in biometrics completed

December 6th, 2014 (Day 24) - Yellow letter received

January 7th, 2015 (Day 56) - Online notification of in line for interview

January 8th, 2015 (Day 57) - Online notification of interview scheduled

January 15th, 2015 (Day 64) - Interview letter received

February 13th, 2015 (Day 93) - Naturalization interview: APPROVED!

February 17th, 2015 (Day 97) - Online notification of oath ceremony scheduled

February 20th, 2015 (Day 100) - Oath ceremony letter received

March 5th, 2015 (Day 113) - Oath ceremony: U.S. CITIZEN!

ROC

November 15th, 2013 (Day 0) - Mailed I-751 to California Service Center

November 18th, 2013 (Day 1) - Application received at CSC; NOA date

November 20th, 2013 (Day 3) - Check cashed

November 22nd, 2013 (Day 5) - NOA received

November 25th, 2013 (Day 8) - Biometrics appointment letter received

December 13th, 2013 (Day 26) - Biometrics appointment

March 24th, 2014 (Day 127) - Card production ordered!

March 31st, 2014 (Day 134) - 10-year green card received!

AOS from F-1 Visa (June 2nd, 2011 - Wedding)
November 9th, 2011 (Day 0) - Mailed I-130/I-485/I-765/I-131 to Chicago Lockbox
November 10th, 2011 (Day 1) - Application received in Chicago
November 15th, 2011 (Day 6) - E-mail notification

November 16th, 2011 (Day 7) - Checks cashed
November 18th, 2011 (Day 9) - NOAs received
November 21st, 2011 (Day 12) - Biometrics appointment notice received
November 23rd, 2011 (Day 14) - Walk-in biometrics completed
January 5th, 2012 (Day 57) - Interview scheduled notice AND notice of card production for EAD and AP
January 13th, 2012 (Day 65) - Combination EAD/AP card received
February 7th, 2012 (Day 90) - Interview: APPROVED!
February 10th, 2012 (Day 93) - Green card production ordered
February 15th, 2012 (Day 98) - Green card received!

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I'd like to add that marrying a U.S. citizen won't change anything for you at this point. Since you didn't obtain your green card through marriage, you have to wait 5 years (and follow all the rules) to apply for naturalization. The only way to use the 3-year marriage naturalization rule would be for you to give up your current green card and re-start the process by applying for a green card through marriage, which would be silly if you already have one (and you haven't at this point even met this hypothetical spouse).

Sorry but this is not correct. If you have been married to US citizen for three years you can apply for citizenship. There is absolutely nothing in the rules that says that you have to have acquired your green card through marriage. This is not really related to the original posters question, but I wanted to make sure that this point was clarified.


For a review of each step of my N-400 naturalization process, from application to oath ceremony, please click here.

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Sorry for the misinformation--I was actually told this by an immigration lawyer. Go figure! But yes, I just looked at the N-400 and you are correct.


Naturalization

November 10th, 2014 (Day 0) - Mailed N-400 to Arizona Lockbox

November 13th, 2014 (Day 1) - Application received in Phoenix

November 14th, 2014 (Day 2) - Priority date on NOA

November 17th, 2014 (Day 5) - Check cashed

November 19th, 2014 (Day 7) - NOA received

November 29th, 2014 (Day 17) - Biometrics appointment letter received

December 1st, 2014 (Day 19) - Walk-in biometrics completed

December 6th, 2014 (Day 24) - Yellow letter received

January 7th, 2015 (Day 56) - Online notification of in line for interview

January 8th, 2015 (Day 57) - Online notification of interview scheduled

January 15th, 2015 (Day 64) - Interview letter received

February 13th, 2015 (Day 93) - Naturalization interview: APPROVED!

February 17th, 2015 (Day 97) - Online notification of oath ceremony scheduled

February 20th, 2015 (Day 100) - Oath ceremony letter received

March 5th, 2015 (Day 113) - Oath ceremony: U.S. CITIZEN!

ROC

November 15th, 2013 (Day 0) - Mailed I-751 to California Service Center

November 18th, 2013 (Day 1) - Application received at CSC; NOA date

November 20th, 2013 (Day 3) - Check cashed

November 22nd, 2013 (Day 5) - NOA received

November 25th, 2013 (Day 8) - Biometrics appointment letter received

December 13th, 2013 (Day 26) - Biometrics appointment

March 24th, 2014 (Day 127) - Card production ordered!

March 31st, 2014 (Day 134) - 10-year green card received!

AOS from F-1 Visa (June 2nd, 2011 - Wedding)
November 9th, 2011 (Day 0) - Mailed I-130/I-485/I-765/I-131 to Chicago Lockbox
November 10th, 2011 (Day 1) - Application received in Chicago
November 15th, 2011 (Day 6) - E-mail notification

November 16th, 2011 (Day 7) - Checks cashed
November 18th, 2011 (Day 9) - NOAs received
November 21st, 2011 (Day 12) - Biometrics appointment notice received
November 23rd, 2011 (Day 14) - Walk-in biometrics completed
January 5th, 2012 (Day 57) - Interview scheduled notice AND notice of card production for EAD and AP
January 13th, 2012 (Day 65) - Combination EAD/AP card received
February 7th, 2012 (Day 90) - Interview: APPROVED!
February 10th, 2012 (Day 93) - Green card production ordered
February 15th, 2012 (Day 98) - Green card received!

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Taking a job in another country shows intent to not live in the US, you have to file taxes every year and report your worldwide income. They look closely at these things in going for citizenship. If you don't want to live in the US then don't bother with the GC , Canadians have very liberal visiting rights

Many Canadians go back to work daily in Canada, so work itself isn't necessarily a problem. Depends on where the person resides and other factors.

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Many Canadians go back to work daily in Canada, so work itself isn't necessarily a problem. Depends on where the person resides and other factors.

But those people return every evening to the US , This person is talking about living and working which is one of the triggers for losing your green card.


This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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