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jjbrien

Applying for citizenship but spend 6 months out of the country

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OK so at the moment im going though the I751 to remove my conditions on residency. I originally entered the states on 12/23/13. I know as of 09/23/16 I can apply for citizenship as ill be 90 days out as im still married to my wife who is a united states citizen. I had to leave the country for 6 months in 2014 as my mother had health problems I needed to be there for. I know i am allowed leave for less than a year, more than a year I would have had to apply for advanced parole. Will I still be ok to apply for citizenship as I didn't abandon my residency?


Vermont Service Center

Date Filed : 2015-10-08

NOA Date : 2015-10-10

Bio. Appt. : 2015-11-12

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You will be OK to apply for citizenship.


USCIS

Married: 08/12/2016

I-130 sent: 08/16/2016

NOA1: 08/18/2016

Received email 09/19/2016 that I-130 was approved 09/17/2016.

On 09/21/2016, I-130 approval date changed to 09/19/2016.

I-130 approved: 09/19/2016

Received hard copy NOA2: 09/23/2016

Sent to NVC: 10/11/2016 No text or email from USCIS. Had to log into USCIS account to find out.

NVC

NVC Received: 10/18/2016

Case # and IIN#: 10/27/2016

Choice of Agent -DS-261: 10/27/2016

AOS Fee Invoiced: 10/29/2016

AOS Fee Paid: 10/29/2016

DS-261 reviewed over the phone: 10/31/2016

IV Fee Invoiced: 11/02/2016

IV Fee Paid: 11/02/2016

DS-260 Completed: 11/04/2016

Sent AOS & IV Package: 11/03/2016

Scan Date: 11/07/2016

RFE: 11/09/2016 (NVC wants I-864 instead of I-864EZ)

RFE Response Submittal: 11/09/2016

Case Complete by phone call: 11/10/2016

Case Complete by email: 11/18/2016

Interview Appointment letter by email: 12/01/2016

Left NVC: 12/02/2016

Embassy

Case Ready at Embassy: 12/05/2016

Case Ready and "touched" at Embassy" 12/16/2016

Medical Date: 12/21/2016 Sputum testing required so this sets us back at least a few months.

Interview Date: 01/04/2017  Interview went well.  We are in "administrative Processing" until negative Sputum Test result is received in March.  The consulate will then issue the Immigrant Visa. So there is nothing further for us to do.  We agreed to have the consulate cancel My wife's B1/B2 visa from an older passport and it was stamped "cancelled without prejudice".  We did this now so she would not have to go back to the consulate to have it done later.

Visa Issued:  03/07/2017

Visa in Hand: 03/08/2017

POE:  03/29/2017 Charlotte, NC  Processed quickly at airport (about 20 minutes with CBP) and was not even asked any questions.

Social Security Card:  Received 04/07/2017 (processed through CBP at POE)

Green Card Issued:  4/19/2017

 

Removal of Conditions

File ROC (I-751):  eligible 12/29/2018

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1) Take note of the 90 day vs 3 month issue mentioned above. It's very important.

2) It's 90 days before the anniversary of the Resident Since date your your card, not the date you entered the country (as mentioned in your opening post).

3) If you've only been out for 6 months or so, then you clearly meet the Physical Presence requirement. The issue is the Continuous Residence requirement. While you don't have to apply for advanced parole in order to maintain your green card for trips under a year, such trips can affect your naturalization eligibility. If Continuous Residence is broken you have to start your naturalization clock over (with some exceptions). The USCIS policy manual states that trips over a year will break CR, trips between 6 months and 12 months may break CR, and trips under 6 months may break CR in special circumstances. What they mean is that if you're away for more than 6 months, you may have to prove that you were still a US resident and that the trip was temporary. There's a good chance you won't be asked for anything at all, but if you are, you should have evidence that you maintained residency here in the US. Bills, lease documents, insurance and car payments all help. Anything showing that your trip was temporary also helps (an explanation of the cause of the trip, a hospital bill, etc. Again, you may not need any of this, but best to be prepared. You can't be approved unless they determine that you did not break your continuous residence. Some applicants have been asked for such evidence for trips between 6 and 12 months, but it most are not. It'll be up to you to decide how much preparation effort to put in before the interview.


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

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1) Take note of the 90 day vs 3 month issue mentioned above. It's very important.

2) It's 90 days before the anniversary of the Resident Since date your your card, not the date you entered the country (as mentioned in your opening post).

3) If you've only been out for 6 months or so, then you clearly meet the Physical Presence requirement. The issue is the Continuous Residence requirement. While you don't have to apply for advanced parole in order to maintain your green card for trips under a year, such trips can affect your naturalization eligibility. If Continuous Residence is broken you have to start your naturalization clock over (with some exceptions). The USCIS policy manual states that trips over a year will break CR, trips between 6 months and 12 months may break CR, and trips under 6 months may break CR in special circumstances. What they mean is that if you're away for more than 6 months, you may have to prove that you were still a US resident and that the trip was temporary. There's a good chance you won't be asked for anything at all, but if you are, you should have evidence that you maintained residency here in the US. Bills, lease documents, insurance and car payments all help. Anything showing that your trip was temporary also helps (an explanation of the cause of the trip, a hospital bill, etc. Again, you may not need any of this, but best to be prepared. You can't be approved unless they determine that you did not break your continuous residence. Some applicants have been asked for such evidence for trips between 6 and 12 months, but it most are not. It'll be up to you to decide how much preparation effort to put in before the interview.

On my Green card the start date of my residency is 12-23 so I am guessing i am ok then to file on 9/24 as that is exactly 90 days.


Vermont Service Center

Date Filed : 2015-10-08

NOA Date : 2015-10-10

Bio. Appt. : 2015-11-12

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