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Filing N-400, after being abroad for over 6 months

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Hi everyone, 

I am in the process of gathering documents for my N-400 application, and I just discovered the "6-month rule". 

Back in 2014-2015, me and my wife took a long trip backpacking across 9 countries in Africa, as our "honeymoon". That trip was just over 6 months (by a few days). I wasn't working at all, nor did I establish residency anywhere during that trip. We sub-leased our apartment in the US where we have lived before and after the trip. We also traveled abroad on other occasions, either on vacation or while working remotely for my current (US-based) employer. All together these trips do not make 18 months, but I am concerned about the 6 month trip getting negative attention.

My question is: what do I need to provide with my application to make sure they don't flag it? 
I am already planning on attaching all my tax returns, and the rental leases for all 3 years. Should I also include a letter explaining this trip? Bank statements? Anything else?

Any advice welcome. 

Thanks a lot, community!


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Since you do not meet the continuous residency requirement, you do not qualify to naturalize.


You did not maintain a residence during the 6+ months.  You sublet your place to someone else.


The law does not allow of discretion even if you are one day over the 6 months.


You will need to list your days outside the US.  


There is no way around this.  You will be wasting your money.


Edited by aaron2020

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I don't think that is true. I was continuously a resident (did not move out of my home in the US, and I filed taxes as a resident all 3 years). But I wasn't physically in the country for 6 months. I believe those are two different things.

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Thank you.

This is what the USCIS says about this (here):


1. Absence of More than Six Months (but Less than One Year)

An absence of more than six months (more than 181 days but less than one year (less than 365 days)) during the period for which continuous residence is required is presumed to break the continuity of such residence. This includes any absence that takes place prior to filing the naturalization application or between filing and the applicant’s admission to citizenship. [11]

An applicant’s intent is not relevant in determining the location of his or her residence. The period of absence from the United States is the defining factor in determining whether the applicant is presumed to have disrupted his or her residence.

An applicant may overcome the presumption of loss of his or her continuity of residence by providing evidence to establish that the applicant did not disrupt his or her residence. The evidence may include, but is not limited to, documentation that during the absence: [12]

The applicant did not terminate his or her employment in the United States or obtain employment while abroad.

The applicant’s immediate family remained in the United States.

The applicant retained full access to his or her United States abode.



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And this is what the Instructions for N-400 say:




  1. Trips Outside the United States. Bring evidence that you maintained your continuous residence in the United States if you have taken any trips outside the United States that lasted more than 6 months but less than 1 year. You may submit documentation which includes, but is not limited to, evidence that during the absence:

    (1) You did not terminate your employment in the United States or work overseas; (2) Your immediate family remained in the United States; or
    (3) You retained full access to your place of residence in the United States.

For example:

  1. (1)  An IRS tax return transcript or an IRS-certified tax return listing tax information relevant to your absence for the last 5 years (or 3 years if you are applying on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen);

  2. (2)  Rent or mortgage payments and pay statements;

  3. (3)  Bank, credit card, and loan statements showing regular transactions;

  4. (4)  Proof of car registration and insurance;

  5. (5)  A photocopy of your passport showing entry and exit stamps; or

  6. (6)  Any other document that shows you have not abandoned your residence in the United States.



Edited by Matmat

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I have a similar situation but at the beginning of the my permanent residency:

I was pregnant so i came to us to activate the visa and left 3 days after. (March)

I stayed outside US until i jah the baby and came back to finally live here (october) but the trip was 6 months and two weeks.


I am planning to apply 90 day before the date that arrive in October. Am I right? Didnt want use April since i left...


I wanted to make sure i am doing it right.thanks


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