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thetreble

Number of Trips out of US in past 5 years

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

Hey guys,

I'm getting around to applying for natulization and have a question about Part 7 of form 400. Since I'm Canadian, I make up to 10 trips a year just to Canada to visit friends and family. Most of them are on long weekends so only 3 days max and I just drive there. However, there is no way I can remember every single trip I've made home in the last 5 years. I can hardly remember all the trips I made to Canada last year!

Maybe this is more of a topic for Canadians, Mexicans, or other nationals closer to the US, but it is a bit different for us. A trip home for me doesn't cost 2 grand, it just costs me some gas money, so I do it pretty often.

What do I do for this part of the form if I can't remember every trip I've made?


"...My hair's mostly wind,

My eyes filled with grit

My skin's white then brown

My lips chapped and split

I've lain on the prairie and heard grasses sigh

I've stared at the vast open bowl of the sky

I've seen all the castles and faces in clouds

My home is the prairie and for that I am proud…

If You're not from the Prairie, you can't know my soul

You don't know our blizzards; you've not fought our cold

You can't know my mind, nor ever my heart

Unless deep within you there's somehow a part…

A part of these things that I've said that I know,

The wind, sky and earth, the storms and the snow.

Best say that you have - and then we'll be one,

For we will have shared that same blazing sun." - David Bouchard

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I looked up the instructions (which may NOT be much more helpful), which say "list every trip that lasted 24+ hours".


2005/07/10 I-129F filed for Pras

2005/11/07 I-129F approved, forwarded to NVC--to Chennai Consulate 2005/11/14

2005/12/02 Packet-3 received from Chennai

2005/12/21 Visa Interview Date

2006/04/04 Pras' entry into US at DTW

2006/04/15 Church Wedding at Novi (Detroit suburb), MI

2006/05/01 AOS Packet (I-485/I-131/I-765) filed at Chicago

2006/08/23 AP and EAD approved. Two down, 1.5 to go

2006/10/13 Pras' I-485 interview--APPROVED!

2006/10/27 Pras' conditional GC arrives -- .5 to go (2 yrs to Conditions Removal)

2008/07/21 I-751 (conditions removal) filed

2008/08/22 I-751 biometrics completed

2009/06/18 I-751 approved

2009/07/03 10-year GC received; last 0.5 done!

2009/07/23 Pras files N-400

2009/11/16 My 46TH birthday, Pras N-400 approved

2010/03/18 Pras' swear-in

---------------------------------------------------------------------

As long as the LORD's beside me, I don't care if this road ever ends.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Haiti
Timeline

Answer it truthfully and accurately, you are about to be in the last stand with USCIS so every details about trips made outside of the US should and must be disclosed.

I think your Bank statements of charges made during your trips should help you remember or the person you are usually with outside the US can help you remember.


AOS TIMELINE

AOS package mailed on 12/16/08

AOS package delivered on 12/19/08

Check cashed on 12/26/08

NOA1 received on 12/30/08

Biometrics on 01/20/09

AOS interview on 04/30/09

EAD Card production ordered on 03/17/09

EAD Card received on 03/21/09

AOS interview APPROVED on 04/30/09

Card production ordered on 05/27/09

Welcome letter received on 06/05/09

Card production ordered again on 06/15/09

Permanent Resident Card received on 07/09/09

I-751 ROC TIMELINE

I-751 package mailed on 02/28/2011

I-751 package delivered on 03/02/2011

Check payment cashed on 03/04/2011

NOA1 received on 03/08/2011

Biometrics appointment on 04/05/2011

Card production ordered on 05/06/2011

I-751 Petition Approved on 05/06/2011

Approval letter received on 05/12/2011

Green Card finally received on 07/29/2011

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

Answer it truthfully and accurately, you are about to be in the last stand with USCIS so every details about trips made outside of the US should and must be disclosed.

I think your Bank statements of charges made during your trips should help you remember or the person you are usually with outside the US can help you remember.

That's not a bad idea, except my bank only keeps the last 3 months on file online. I'd have to call them and ask them for five years worth of transactions. :blink:

Edited by thetreble

"...My hair's mostly wind,

My eyes filled with grit

My skin's white then brown

My lips chapped and split

I've lain on the prairie and heard grasses sigh

I've stared at the vast open bowl of the sky

I've seen all the castles and faces in clouds

My home is the prairie and for that I am proud…

If You're not from the Prairie, you can't know my soul

You don't know our blizzards; you've not fought our cold

You can't know my mind, nor ever my heart

Unless deep within you there's somehow a part…

A part of these things that I've said that I know,

The wind, sky and earth, the storms and the snow.

Best say that you have - and then we'll be one,

For we will have shared that same blazing sun." - David Bouchard

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Filed: Other Timeline

Hey guys,

I'm getting around to applying for natulization and have a question about Part 7 of form 400. Since I'm Canadian, I make up to 10 trips a year just to Canada to visit friends and family. Most of them are on long weekends so only 3 days max and I just drive there. However, there is no way I can remember every single trip I've made home in the last 5 years.

Which is why you, knowing that this day was coming, entered the data of every trip in the Excel list you have in your computer. Please don't tell me you had a computer crash and forgot to back it up or print out the latest version of that list!


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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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

Which is why you, knowing that this day was coming, entered the data of every trip in the Excel list you have in your computer. Please don't tell me you had a computer crash and forgot to back it up or print out the latest version of that list!

I'm going to dismiss this as a non-intelligent response to my question. Thank you, however, for taking the time to not be helpful.

I'd love to take a vote of all the thousands of people on this website, and how many of them kept track of every single day they entered and left the country for the past 5 years, whether it be personal or business.


"...My hair's mostly wind,

My eyes filled with grit

My skin's white then brown

My lips chapped and split

I've lain on the prairie and heard grasses sigh

I've stared at the vast open bowl of the sky

I've seen all the castles and faces in clouds

My home is the prairie and for that I am proud…

If You're not from the Prairie, you can't know my soul

You don't know our blizzards; you've not fought our cold

You can't know my mind, nor ever my heart

Unless deep within you there's somehow a part…

A part of these things that I've said that I know,

The wind, sky and earth, the storms and the snow.

Best say that you have - and then we'll be one,

For we will have shared that same blazing sun." - David Bouchard

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Hey,

First of all, congratulations on your last step in the "visa journey." I will be filing based on 5 year eligibilty also in the next few months. What I did, was go through every page of my passport and calculate my trips based on my departure and arrival stamps. I believe this is what is on record and this is why they ask to see your passport at the naturalization interview.

Here's what my excel spreadsheet looked like

Trip #/ Destination / Arrival (destination) /Departure (destination) / Days out / Reason

1 / United Kingdom / 20-Sep-03 / 25-Sep-03 / 5 / Vacation

2 / Canada / 9-Feb-05 / 12-Feb-05 / 3 / Vacation

Hope this helps. All the best

Edited by lax75

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

i had to list all visits for 5 years as well for part of my K1 application last year. being a fairly normal person, and having lived pretty close to the border, i had previously traveled often to the US as well.

i basically just did the best i could.

i went through my passport and looked for any stamps, looked through emails for flight itineraries (this part may not apply to you), hotel receipts, etc which helped me remember.

the other thing i wrote was "multiple short visits (1 week or less) for vacationing, visiting friends, shopping, attending work-related conferences which may not have been included on this list." i didn't run into any issues.

good luck.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

i had to list all visits for 5 years as well for part of my K1 application last year. being a fairly normal person, and having lived pretty close to the border, i had previously traveled often to the US as well.

i basically just did the best i could.

i went through my passport and looked for any stamps, looked through emails for flight itineraries (this part may not apply to you), hotel receipts, etc which helped me remember.

the other thing i wrote was "multiple short visits (1 week or less) for vacationing, visiting friends, shopping, attending work-related conferences which may not have been included on this list." i didn't run into any issues.

good luck.

Thanks lovetimhortons & lax75. I suppose I've just got to do my best. I wish Canada stamped my passport when I returned because it would definitely help me remember each time I cross. I'm sure I can work it out in the end, I just didn't think I'd actually naturalize until a few weeks ago so I never thought it was important! Lesson learned.


"...My hair's mostly wind,

My eyes filled with grit

My skin's white then brown

My lips chapped and split

I've lain on the prairie and heard grasses sigh

I've stared at the vast open bowl of the sky

I've seen all the castles and faces in clouds

My home is the prairie and for that I am proud…

If You're not from the Prairie, you can't know my soul

You don't know our blizzards; you've not fought our cold

You can't know my mind, nor ever my heart

Unless deep within you there's somehow a part…

A part of these things that I've said that I know,

The wind, sky and earth, the storms and the snow.

Best say that you have - and then we'll be one,

For we will have shared that same blazing sun." - David Bouchard

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Colombia
Timeline

Thanks lovetimhortons & lax75. I suppose I've just got to do my best. I wish Canada stamped my passport when I returned because it would definitely help me remember each time I cross. I'm sure I can work it out in the end, I just didn't think I'd actually naturalize until a few weeks ago so I never thought it was important! Lesson learned.

Another obsessive poster that is no longer here had that same problem living in Montana, near the border. Could say I would have had the same problem since we had divisions in Canada, for years traveling to Canada was no different than traveling between our states. All these trips were completely undocumented. All this started with an executive order from Bush as he felt the Canadians were not checking terrorists like he was, even though it was relatives of his buddies that came here legally that caused all of our problems.

Can't think of the number of times I crossed that imaginary line where the guard never even looked at me, just asked with head down, hat covering their eyes if I had any firearms, alcohol, or plants, said no, move on. Key is to be correct on your documented trips, that guy from Canada, said he just made so many short trips to Canada over the years and got by with that.

You want to be as honest as possible, but if these trips were not documented, no way for anybody to check, just do your best.

Thought this immigration stuff would be all over at the AOS, that was tough enough, but learned about the I-751 and N-400, so started keeping records and gathering evidence from day one. Ha, felt compelled to record my wife's last trip, but I don't have to do that anymore.

The USCIS does have a publication like something like the steps to becoming a US citizen that explains all this stuff. Its not like they hand you this booklet when you first come here or even can find a published copy of it. Have to dig hard into the net to find it, and sure doesn't help you, if like me, never even heard of the USCIS. Can't tell you how many people and friends that I have talked to on this subject that were born here and lived here all of their lives, and never even heard of the USCIS. When you do finally learn what you are suppose to do, its way too late.

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Filed: Country: Canada
Timeline

I had my interview today, and I had included my Excel spreadsheet with my original submission. I had updated my spreadsheet for my trips since filing, (I live in the Detroit area and the border is right here). The Officer took my dorky list because I had made it and asked, did you take any trips longer than 6 months? Were you out more than 18 months of the last 3 years? My answers, no & no, and we moved on.

My point with saying this is that if you read the instructions and the M476, the intent of the question is to establish continuous residency and presence. Make your best estimate based on your habits. They will review your Passport stamps anyway.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

Welcome to the world of Canadian transborder travel, I'm there with you. Live in Chicago, frequently fly back to Vancouver and I have started finding myself in southern Ontario more often than I can count! For the rest of the VisaJourney posters, Canada/US do not require a stamped passport so we just drive through the border crossings with minimal fuss. There is often no way to get a concrete record of when you have been.

Since I had to do this myself (albeit at less frequency than you), here are a few tips I had to ease along the way:

  • Review your bank statements. Ask your bank for the past year or two at least.
  • If you get paperless statements, check your email.
  • Review photographs (which are often dated) so you can see when you were up there.
  • Do you have Canadian bank accounts or loyalty program cards?
  • If yes... You can always check with records at Chapters.ca or Costco (for example) to see when you were making purchases.
  • Call upon friends/family you visited for help.
  • Look for travel docs from Orbitz, Priceline, etc.
  • Load up a Google calendar (or calendar of your choice). Plug in dates you *know* you were in Canada, such as Cdn Thanksgiving, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Easter. Flesh these out starting with the most recent year.
  • Review e-mail, Facebook/social network postings, etc. for dates or updates which might link to when you were there.
  • Account for the longest trips first, they matter the most.
  • Be accurate as you can, but don't be afraid to wing it. (ie. You know you visited for a weekend in June '07 but can't remember if it was the 11-13 or 18-20th? Pick one.)

The point is to try to give an accurate depiction and go from there. USCIS is going to be more concerned about lengthy travels, being out of the country prolonged periods that would invalidate your citizenship/residency, or questionable forays. It's pretty painless when you explain you were cross-border shopping at least twice a month, or visiting Aunt Millie, Mom, cousin Linda and your best friends from university over the holidays. :)

Good luck!


26 January 2005 - Entered US as visitor from Canada.
16 May 2005 - Assembled health package, W2s.
27 June 2005 - Sent package off to Chicago lockbox.
28 June 2005 - Package received at Chicago lockbox.
11 July 2005 - RFE: cheques inappropriately placed.
18 July 2005 - NOA 1: I-485, I-131, I-765 received!
19 July 2005 - NOA 1: I-130 received!
24 August 2005 - Biometrics appointment (Naperville, IL).
25 August 2005 - AOS touched.
29 August 2005 - AP, EAD, I-485 touched.
15 September 2005 - AP and EAD approved!
03 February 2006 - SSN arrives (150 days later)
27 February 2006 - NOA 2: Interview for 27 April!!
27 April 2006 - AOS Interview, approved after 10 minutes!
19 May 2006 - 2 year conditional green card.
01 May 2008 - 10 year green card arrives.
09 December 2012 - Assembled N-400 package.
15 January 2013 - Sent package off to Phoenix.
28 January 2013 - RFE: signature missing.
06 February 2013 - NOA 1: N-400 received!
27 February 2013 - Biometrics appointment (Detroit, MI).
01 April 2013 - NOA 2: Interview assigned.

15 May 2013 - Naturalization Interview, approved after 15 minutes.

10 June 2013 - Naturalized.

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