Jump to content
love_my_wife

Continuous residence question - Stayed out of US for 186 days

5 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Hi, I became a permanent resident on 11/23/2010 (Family sponsored). I once stayed out of US for 186 days(departed US on 12/22/2012 and returned on 06/26/2013). Will I be eligible to apply for citizenship this year. I complete 5 years of my green card at the end of this year. Before I left US on 12/22/2012, I had applied for a master's degree program at an American university. The master's program was suppose to start from August 2013. I did joined that university and completed the course in December of 2014. So I had no intention of abandoning my permanent residence at any point of time. One lawyer I consulted told me that there is no chance and that she would not even take my case for processing. Apart from the above absence, I had a couple of other travel outside US for max 3-4 weeks each.

Anyone who has any experience or knowledge or has faced this situation, please advise. Thank you. I look forward to advises, suggestions and tips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I became a permanent resident on 11/23/2010 (Family sponsored). I once stayed out of US for 186 days(departed US on 12/22/2012 and returned on 06/26/2013). Will I be eligible to apply for citizenship this year. I complete 5 years of my green card at the end of this year. Before I left US on 12/22/2012, I had applied for a master's degree program at an American university. The master's program was suppose to start from August 2013. I did joined that university and completed the course in December of 2014. So I had no intention of abandoning my permanent residence at any point of time. One lawyer I consulted told me that there is no chance and that she would not even take my case for processing. Apart from the above absence, I had a couple of other travel outside US for max 3-4 weeks each.

Anyone who has any experience or knowledge or has faced this situation, please advise. Thank you. I look forward to advises, suggestions and tips.

Hard to tell.

Your enrollment in grad school proves that you didn't intend to give up your residency (abandon your green card), but it doesn't really prove continuous residency. It could, however, help your case if you have other supporting evidence that you were living in the US, but just took a long trip abroad. Were you paying rent for those 6 months? Phone bills, credit cards, insurance payments? All these things would help.

What were you doing abroad? Working? Tourism? All these factors could affect the decision. For example, if you continued to rent an apartment in the US and paid all your bills and you spend 6 months touring different countries, then it's clear that you were living here and just on vacation. If you gave up your home and lived with your parents in your home country for 6 months, then it looks like you were living abroad.

Trips under a year are somewhat at the discretion of the interviewer when it comes to continuous residence.

If I were you, I would take the chance and apply, but you should be prepared for interview and be aware of the risk of denial.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My situation was similar; I left the US for Germany when my husband had to do dissertation research there - I was gone October through May (almost 7 months). We kept our apartment in the US, though, and filed taxes here. I also did not work while in Germany. When I filed for citizenship, I attached documentation to prove that I did not abandon my residency (my husband's scholarship letter, tax returns, our rent payments, credit card statements, phone bills…), as well as a letter explaining why I left the country. At the interview, the officer did ask me about my absence and had me explain the circumstances again (even though she said she did read my letter). She said that having to leave the country to be with my husband while he did phD research was a valid reason (we simply could not afford to maintain two households on two continents on a stipend), and approved my N400.

It really depends on the circumstances of WHY you left the country for this extended period of time, IMO. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you folks for your insights. Really appreciate your inputs. I had lost my job by November 2012 and I had planned to pursue a master's degree from August 2013 onwards as I have mentioned in my original post. I had intended to return soon but as I had lost my job, I decided to stay a little more back home as I didn't want to burden myself with rents and bills without a job.

Also, as I had lost my job, I was in no position to continue paying my rent or other bills. Hence I had subleased the apartment I was living in. I however, did pay rent and electricity bill from my account for few months (2-3 months) I was not in US. Unfortunately, I was not aware of this continuous residence rule at that point of time and hence I am in this quandary right now! I however, had all my bank and credit card accounts intact and active. What proofs are required to prove residence. I paid rent by check. Please advise.

As Ms SoRot76 said, that she was able to convince the interviewing officer but my question is what if my case is denied before an interview? Also, if my case is denied, will it affect my future application whenever I am eligible to apply.

Thank you once again.

Hard to tell.

Your enrollment in grad school proves that you didn't intend to give up your residency (abandon your green card), but it doesn't really prove continuous residency. It could, however, help your case if you have other supporting evidence that you were living in the US, but just took a long trip abroad. Were you paying rent for those 6 months? Phone bills, credit cards, insurance payments? All these things would help.

What were you doing abroad? Working? Tourism? All these factors could affect the decision. For example, if you continued to rent an apartment in the US and paid all your bills and you spend 6 months touring different countries, then it's clear that you were living here and just on vacation. If you gave up your home and lived with your parents in your home country for 6 months, then it looks like you were living abroad.

Trips under a year are somewhat at the discretion of the interviewer when it comes to continuous residence.

If I were you, I would take the chance and apply, but you should be prepared for interview and be aware of the risk of denial.

My situation was similar; I left the US for Germany when my husband had to do dissertation research there - I was gone October through May (almost 7 months). We kept our apartment in the US, though, and filed taxes here. I also did not work while in Germany. When I filed for citizenship, I attached documentation to prove that I did not abandon my residency (my husband's scholarship letter, tax returns, our rent payments, credit card statements, phone bills…), as well as a letter explaining why I left the country. At the interview, the officer did ask me about my absence and had me explain the circumstances again (even though she said she did read my letter). She said that having to leave the country to be with my husband while he did phD research was a valid reason (we simply could not afford to maintain two households on two continents on a stipend), and approved my N400.

It really depends on the circumstances of WHY you left the country for this extended period of time, IMO. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you folks for your insights. Really appreciate your inputs. I had lost my job by November 2012 and I had planned to pursue a master's degree from August 2013 onwards as I have mentioned in my original post. I had intended to return soon but as I had lost my job, I decided to stay a little more back home as I didn't want to burden myself with rents and bills without a job.

Also, as I had lost my job, I was in no position to continue paying my rent or other bills. Hence I had subleased the apartment I was living in. I however, did pay rent and electricity bill from my account for few months (2-3 months) I was not in US. Unfortunately, I was not aware of this continuous residence rule at that point of time and hence I am in this quandary right now! I however, had all my bank and credit card accounts intact and active. What proofs are required to prove residence. I paid rent by check. Please advise.

As Ms SoRot76 said, that she was able to convince the interviewing officer but my question is what if my case is denied before an interview? Also, if my case is denied, will it affect my future application whenever I am eligible to apply.

Thank you once again.

There's no such thing as a case being denied before the interview. You application may be rejected if you make a filing mistake, but if your check is cashed, you will make it to the interview.

If you are denied at the interview, you can reapply at a future date and you'll have to pay the fee again.

Being denied doesn't directly affect future applications, but the denial will be on your record, which means the interviewer will probably want to double-check the details. As long as the reasons for the denial have been overcome when you reapply, then a prior denial shouldn't matter.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×