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Restrictions before filing?

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I was told by friends that filed for citizenship that I can't leave the US 90 days before I submit my application. I've heard this so many times from other people but I can't find this in the instructions. Is there such a restriction?

If you live in CA for two months, then relocate to NY, you must wait 3 months before you can file N-400

There is a provision that mentions being allowed to file 90 days prior to being eligible, but this only applies to the "continuous residency" provision, that is, if you had been a PR for 5 years, but only continuously resident for 27 months (instead of the required 30), you could apply in anticipation of meeting the requirement. But this does not apply to the requirement of 5-years of PR status. This MUST be met prior to filing

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If you live in CA for two months, then relocate to NY, you must wait 3 months before you can file N-400

There is a provision that mentions being allowed to file 90 days prior to being eligible, but this only applies to the "continuous residency" provision, that is, if you had been a PR for 5 years, but only continuously resident for 27 months (instead of the required 30), you could apply in anticipation of meeting the requirement. But this does not apply to the requirement of 5-years of PR status. This MUST be met prior to filing

Thanks for the reply Pingwins! I think I can meet all the other requirements. I will be a PR for 5 years in September and I have not left the US for more than 1 month too. I have been living in the same city for at least 2.5 years also. My only worry is that will I be able to apply for citizenship if I take a vacation for about 5 days outside the US a month before I send my application in June because I heard people say I cannot leave the US (even for a few days) 90 days before I actually send my application. I'm wondering if there really is such a provision.

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I would say that with friends like this, who needs enemies, but some moderators her have zero sense of humor, so I won't do it.

You can travel at heart's desire before, during, and after your N-400 is in the works. You just need to have lived at your current address that is connected with a certain USCIS Field Office for at least 90 days so that no confusion with mail and jurisdiction creates havoc to your application.


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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Thanks for the reply Pingwins! I think I can meet all the other requirements. I will be a PR for 5 years in September and I have not left the US for more than 1 month too. I have been living in the same city for at least 2.5 years also. My only worry is that will I be able to apply for citizenship if I take a vacation for about 5 days outside the US a month before I send my application in June because I heard people say I cannot leave the US (even for a few days) 90 days before I actually send my application. I'm wondering if there really is such a provision.

Being on vacation for 5 days is not a problem for usc requirements...

It's also not a problem to travel while your in process of your N-400 usc....so long you keep the same state resident where you file from....

take a look at usc N-400 timelines this would give you a good idea of what /when/where timelines, so maybe you can time it right between your 5 day vacation .

Good Luck :thumbs:

Edited by nigel

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All you have to do is list your travel dates on your N400 application. Take your passport with you to the interview as the IO will want to verify them. If you travel after your interview and before your Oath Ceremony, you will have to answer YES on the form USCIS sends you to fill out on the day of the Ceremony.

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I was told by friends that filed for citizenship that I can't leave the US 90 days before I submit my application. I've heard this so many times from other people but I can't find this in the instructions. Is there such a restriction?

No there is no such restriction.


Current cut off date F2A - Nov 08, 2016

Brother's Journey (F2A) - PD Dec 30, 2010


Dec 30 2010 - Notice of Action 1 (NOA1)
May 12 2011 - Notice of Action 2 (NOA2)
May 23 2011 - NVC case # Assigned
Nov 17 2011 - COA / I-864 received
Nov 18 2011 - Sent COA
Apr 30 2012 - Pay AOS fee

Oct 15 2012 - Pay IV fee
Oct 25 2012 - Sent AOS/IV Package

Oct 29 2012 - Pkg Delivered
Dec 24 2012 - Case Complete

May 17 2013 - Interview-Approved

July 19 2013 - Enter the USA

"... Answer when you are called..."

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That's what I am understanding now but I just talked to my friend and she was insisting that traveling within 90 days before submitting the application will have an effect on the rule that one should live in the same USCIS district or state where you claim residence for at least 3 months. I know traveling and residing are two completely different things. She's confusing me. But thank you all for clarifying everything!

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I think you really got it, but since your friends seem not to be as smart let's go over it again.

Filing the N-400 requires the applicant to have resided at his current address in the past 90 days. If you lived in San Francisco yet move to New York and file the N-400 just a couple of weeks after moving, the USCIS system may not have processed your AR-11 (change of address) yet, as those guys are not known to be super fast or super efficient. So in the System you are a guy living in San Fran, yet you claim to be a New Yorker and have as required reported that to USCIS. That would create a system error and plenty of red lights would start flickering and then the computer crashes, right after having sent out your NOA1 to San Francisco, to the address where you lived.

See, for that reason the USCIS needs to be on one page with you, your address, and any and all pending AR-11s. Da machine needs 90 days wiggle room for that.

This is how the rumor from residence to not being able to travel got started. Like being able to get pregnant by kissing.


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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