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Timing of Eligibility for Naturalization

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Hello everyone,


I would appreciate some advice of my current situation. My green card is about to expire on 10/2019 and I needed help in determining whether I should apply for naturalization or renew my green card. I have had my green card since 10/2008 but I went to college abroad from 07/2009 - 09/2015. All of my trips outside of the US have been between 6 months-12 months and never more than 12 months. When I came back to the US in 09/2015 I haven't taken any trips outside for more than a couple weeks at a time. 


A couple of questions:

1) I had spoken to a immigration attorney in 1/2016 regarding the time to apply for naturalization. She advised that I should count 5 years from 09/2015 and basically apply for naturalization in 09/2020. She said that since my trips outside had been for more than 6 months the USCIS can make a "rebuttable" presumption that I have abandoned my green card status and that I would have to show evidence of ties in the U.S. (my parents were here then, I basically only went to school outside of the US and was not employed there etc.). She also said that this is a lengthy battle to keep my green card and I shouldnt risk USCIS looking into the matter. Since I have been in the US continuously since the last 30 months, can I apply to N-400 for naturalization and take this risk now? The problem is my green card will expire in 10/2019, way before 09/2020.


2) The other option is to just renew my green card through filling form I-90. Would my travel history be an issue for renewing my green card? I dont want to be denied renewal for green card and I heard USCIS is lenient for travel history related to green card renewals. I have no other issues (arrest, taxes, etc.) How often do green card renewals get denied due to travel outside of the US between 6 months to 12 months at a time?


I would appreciate advise in the matter. 


Thank You.


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you are eligible for naturalization if you qualify under the 30 months of residency.  either way they already know that you have left the country. IMO i would apply for naturalization anyhow. You seem to have a reasonable excuse for the absences. Either way you are not going to get citizenship before your GC expires, so that will have to happen anyways (renewing your GC)

Edited by Alabamak1

8/7/2017                    NOA-1

3/1/2018                    NOA-2

3/15/2018                  NVC case received

3/22/2018                  NVC case assigned

3/23/2018                  Consulate ready

4/11/2018                  Medical

4/17/2018                  Visa Approved

4/24/2018                  Visa on hand

5/23/2018                  Point of Entry ATL

5/24/2018                  Marriage license, officiant and certificate / applied for SS#

5/31/2018                  AOS/AP/EAD

6/7/2018                    email notification of NOA-1

6/11/2018                  NOA-1 hard copies for AOS/EAD/AP

6/27/2018                  Biometrics for AOS/EAD

7/7/2018                    ready to be scheduled for interview

7/11/2018                  We are still reviewing your case and there are no updates at this time (email from USCIS)

8/22/2018                  We are still reviewing your case and there are no updates at this time (same email again)

9/5/2018                     We are still reviewing your case and there are no updates at this time (this is getting boring!!!)

10/3/2018                  We are still reviewing your case and there are no updates at this time (this is insanity, 4th time while some got GC)

10/17/2018                After 136 days of wait in HELL, finally EAD in production

10/21/2018                Card was mailed to me, and yes it said so on a Sunday night, while Vj-ing

10/22/2018                Card was picked up by the USPS

10/24/2018                EAD in hand. F%^&& finally

12/28/2018                Interview has been scheduled. Waiting for notification with date by snail mail

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1) The lawyer you spoke to was correct. Trips of 6-12 months can be considered to have broken the continuous residence requirement to be able to file for naturalisation, though you can attempt to rebut this presumption. It's up to you whether you think you have enough proof of being able to show your principle residence was still in the US despite being overseas for a majority of the time in during those six years.


2) Green card renewals through an I-90 are mostly an administrative matter, like renewing a driver's license. It's unlikely you would have any issues as a result of filing an I-90.

Edited by Hypnos

Widow/er AoS Guide | Have AoS questions? Read (some) answers here



Day 0 (4/23/12) Petitions mailed (I-360, I-485, I-765)
2 (4/25/12) Petitions delivered to Chicago Lockbox
11 (5/3/12) Received 3 paper NOAs
13 (5/5/12) Received biometrics appointment for 5/23
15 (5/7/12) Did an unpleasant walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX
45 (6/7/12) Received email & text notification of an interview on 7/10
67 (6/29/12) EAD production ordered
77 (7/9/12) Received EAD
78 (7/10/12) Interview
100 (8/1/12) I-485 transferred to Vermont Service Centre
143 (9/13/12) Contacted DHS Ombudsman
268 (1/16/13) I-360, I-485 consolidated and transferred to Dallas
299 (2/16/13) Received second interview letter for 3/8
319 (3/8/13) Approved at interview
345 (4/3/13) I-360, I-485 formally approved; green card production ordered
353 (4/11/13) Received green card



Day 0 (1/3/18) N-400 filed online

Day 6 (1/9/18) Walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX

Day 341 (12/10/18) Interview was scheduled for 1/14/19

Day 376 (1/14/19) Interview

Day 385 (1/23/19) Denied

Day 400 (2/7/19) Denial revoked; N-400 approved; oath ceremony set for 2/14/19

Day 407 (2/14/19) Oath ceremony in Dallas, TX

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I'm kinda in the same boat. I got my 10 year GC in 09/2015, though had to leave to my home country to finish my last year of university and came back in 06/2016, with a couple of trips to the US in between. I've been living continuously in the US ever since except for short vacations (<1 month). I'm wondering if I can file for citizenship in 06/2020? The calculator on USCIS says yes.

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