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Time Required in U.S & working for an American company outside the U.S

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My beautiful wife and I finally got her 10 year green card and through the process of removing her conditions in January. We are so happy to be done with the process! Our question now is about working outside the U.S for long periods of time. We work for a cruise line(American Company) which goes all over the world, we do 6 months contracts and then have 6 weeks off. We are currently based out of Fort Lauderdale, FL right now but we are about to go to Europe for 5 months and then once we are done our contract we will be going to Romania to visit her family on our vacation in between contracts. Once that vacation is over we will fly to Vancouver, BC, Canada and spend a couple of days in Washington State and Southern California. Then from there we will be sailing over to Hawaii then Australia and New Zeland for 6 months. My concern is we will be out of the U.S for a little bit over 6 months and then in the U.S for 24-48 hours and then out again for another 6 1/2 months. Is there any exception to the rule around time in the states since we are working and can provide our contracts as proof of that? My wife would like to get her citizenship and not have to wait forever for it by resetting the clock all the time. My main concern though is not having to apply for a re entry permit or put her immigration status in jeopardy since we will be basically be out of the U.S for 13 months. With about 24-48 hours in the U.S in between contracts. Can anyone help shed some light on this for us? How long do we need to stay in the U.S to leave again for another 5 3/4 months without getting into hot water? We could shift our schedule and plan 7 days or so in the U.S inbetween contracts if that is enough time to rest the clock. Is there exceptions for work like this? Any insight would be really helpful. Thanks.

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As long as your wife is maintaining a US residence, then her work on the ship is fine.

If she is living in the ship and maintains zero ties to the US, then she has a problem.

Just maintain ties to FL. Checking account. Driver's license. Home.

Her physical presence outside the U.S. affects her eligibility for citizenship. There is no work around for this. She must meet the physical presence requirements to apply for citizenship.

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~ Duplicate topic removed. Don't post multiple topics on the same issue. ~


Removal of Conditions Journey

3/3/2009 - Removal of conditions - sent off packet to CSC

3/5/2009 - I-751 received in CSC

3/9/2009 - Check cashed

3/20/2009 - Biometrics notice received (no NOA1)

4/2/2009 - Biometrics

4/9/2009 - NOA1 date (first undelivered one is 3/5)

4/3/2009 - Touch?

5/6/2009 - ROC Approval - 65 days

6/22/2009 - CRIS Card production ordered email

7/7/2009 - GC arrived!

Naturalization Journey

3/03/2010 N400 sent to Arizona Lockbox

3/15/2010 Check cashed

3/17/2010 NOA1

3/18/2010 - Biometrics notice sent

3/26/2010 Early biometrics done at an ASC different from the one assigned to (Original BIO date was 4/15)

4/30/2010 Yellow letter received and info from USCIS mil line they are working on my interview letter (6/17 appt)

5/1/2010 Text and email interview letter sen

5/6/2010 Interview letter received - scheduled for 6/17/2010 at 10:05am

6/17/2010 Interview appointment - PASSED

6/29/2010 US Citizen

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