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Hello,

I am a green card holder since June 2011. I would like to file N-400 in 2016 but not sure about my chances.

My parents live in the US. In April 2012 I went abroad for 175 days, to visit my grandparents and to stay with my wife (she was not able to travel to the US at the time). Then, in October 2012 I went back to the US and continued working for my previous employer for a month. At the time I was accepted to a college abroad and left the US in November 2012 with a reentry permit.

Below are the details of my trips:

- 175 from April 2012 to October 2012, visiting my grandparents and my wife abroad
- 1 month in the US, working for my previous employer
- 175 days from November 2012 to May 2013, studying abroad
- 2 weeks in the US, visiting parents
- 175 days, from May 2013 to November 2013, finishing studies
- Currently in the US, 950+ days of physical presence since June 2011

Given the absences above, what are my chances for Naturalization in 2016?

I was in the US for 7 months in 2011 and for 4 months in 2012. Does my 'continuous residence' count as 7 months in 2011 and 4 months in 2012 or as 11 months from June 2011 to June 2012? June 2011 is when I first arrived in the US.

How could I prove that I did not abandon my Residency status while studying abroad? My wife living abroad and free education were real arguments for me to stay some time abroad.

When filing N-400, is there any risk to lose my green card in case I am not able to prove that I did not abandon my Residency status?

If my application from March 2016 is denied, does the 4 years and 1 day rule 100% applies to my case in November 2017? November 2017 would be 4 years since I finished my studies abroad in 2013 and came back to the US.

Thank You!

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Let's say a year has 365 days, 5 years has 1,825 days. In order to be qualified for 5 years base, you have to physically reside in the US a half of it, mean you not leave the US more than 912 days. Since you had left the US more than 950 days. You DO meet the continuous residence, however, you don't meet physical residence. Some proof that you can use to prove you did not abandon your US residency such as bank statement, car insurance, file Income Tax Return, pay stubs, utilities bills and so on.

Physical Presence

Applicants are required to show that they were:

Physically present in the U.S. for thirty months within the five year period before applying, or

Physically present in the U.S. for eighteen months within the three year period before applying in the case of qualified spouses of U.S. citizens

In your case, I suggest you consult with an immigration lawyer.

Good luck

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Let's say a year has 365 days, 5 years has 1,825 days. In order to be qualified for 5 years base, you have to physically reside in the US a half of it, mean you not leave the US more than 912 days. Since you had left the US more than 950 days. You DO meet the continuous residence, however, you don't meet physical residence. Some proof that you can use to prove you did not abandon your US residency such as bank statement, car insurance, file Income Tax Return, pay stubs, utilities bills and so on.

Physical Presence

Applicants are required to show that they were:

Physically present in the U.S. for thirty months within the five year period before applying, or

Physically present in the U.S. for eighteen months within the three year period before applying in the case of qualified spouses of U.S. citizens

In your case, I suggest you consult with an immigration lawyer.

Good luck

no, mtpron says "- Currently in the US, 950+ days of physical presence since June 2011", so it is more than a half and plans to apply next year, so I believe it is going to be fine without any lower.

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Oh okay. Then you're fine. But you have to be prepared since you traveled outside the US alot, you have to prove that you did not abandon your US residency by providing proofs that I listed. If you can't pursue IO while you have interview, consult with a lawyer absolutely necessary.

Edited by boy15

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What am I missing here? The OP left the U.S. on a reentry permit in 2012 and returned in 2013. Continuos residency was probably (but not definitely) broken when he left in the reentry permit. So he can apply in November 2017 (4 years plus one day rule) or November 2015 (2 years plus one day rule) if married to a USC.

Aaron's point about claiming foreign residence is important.

Edited by JimmyHou

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

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Let's say a year has 365 days, 5 years has 1,825 days. In order to be qualified for 5 years base, you have to physically reside in the US a half of it, mean you not leave the US more than 912 days. Since you had left the US more than 950 days. You DO meet the continuous residence, however, you don't meet physical residence. Some proof that you can use to prove you did not abandon your US residency such as bank statement, car insurance, file Income Tax Return, pay stubs, utilities bills and so on.

Physical Presence

Applicants are required to show that they were:

Physically present in the U.S. for thirty months within the five year period before applying, or

Physically present in the U.S. for eighteen months within the three year period before applying in the case of qualified spouses of U.S. citizens

In your case, I suggest you consult with an immigration lawyer.

Good luck

Any trip over a year breaks continuous residence.

Trips between 6 months and a year may break continuous residence.

Trips under six months may break continuous residence based on the circumstances, but this is not common (usually only a worry when someone has multiple back-to-back trips just under six months... exactly the OP's situation).

So the OP may not not meet the continuous residence requirement.

I haven't added up the days but if he was outside of the U.S. For over 912 days then you are right that he does not meet the physical pretense requirement.

The reentry permit protects an applicant from loss of the green card for the period of the permit. No need to prove ties to the U.S. During the period of the permit... that's what it's for.

I don't know that a lawyer will be of any use. The interviewer will either decide that the OP broke CR in 2012/2013 or that he did not.

Edited by JimmyHou

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

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What am I missing here? The OP left the U.S. on a reentry permit in 2012 and returned in 2013. Continuos residency was definitely broken when he left in the reentry permit. So he can apply in November 2017 (4 years plus one day rule) or November 2015 (2 years plus one day rule) if married to a USC.

Aaron's point about claiming foreign residence is important.

Even though the OP left on a reentry permit he did not spend more than one year abroad. He can still try to count his five years starting from 2011. I've just then through kind of similar story. I would advise to see it with a lawyer (just a waist of money), but an infopass appointment can help to make it clear.

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Even though the OP left on a reentry permit he did not spend more than one year abroad. He can still try to count his five years starting from 2011. I've just then through kind of similar story. I would advise to see it with a lawyer (just a waist of money), but an infopass appointment can help to make it clear.

Agree. There is a possibility of approval. However, the reentry permit (which implies a desire to temporarily reside abroad) along with the two long trips do point to a break in CR... I don't think I would be able to guess which way the decision would go if he applied based on 5 years starting from 2011.


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

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Even though the OP left on a reentry permit he did not spend more than one year abroad. He can still try to count his five years starting from 2011. I've just then through kind of similar story. I would advise to see it with a lawyer (just a waist of money), but an infopass appointment can help to make it clear.

You replied to my post before the edit :-)

I had misread the dates... CR was probably broken,.. I said definitely broken, which is wrong.


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

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You replied to my post before the edit :-)

I had misread the dates... CR was probably broken,.. I said definitely broken, which is wrong.

OMG, and I did not manage to edit mine! :)

I meant that I would NOT advise to see it with a lawyer and I believe it is a simple case to clarify during an infopass appointment. I think that the OP did everything the right way and most likely will be able to apply for the citizenship next year.

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OMG, and I did not manage to edit mine! :)

I meant that I would NOT advise to see it with a lawyer and I believe it is a simple case to clarify during an infopass appointment. I think that the OP did everything the right way and most likely will be able to apply for the citizenship next year.

We responded too quickly to each other!

I think we agree that it could go either way... you seem to be leaning towards approval based on 5 years from 2011, while I'm leaning towards denial. We've probably just read different sets of experiences.


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

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