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DILAW

N-400 Naturalization 3 Year Rule for Spouses of US Citizens

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Hi,

 

I was reading the requirements to qualify for the 3 year rule for naturalization and I would appreciate it if someone can help me understand the 3 (out of a total of 9) requirements on the USCIS page.  The 3 that confused me are the following:

  • Have continuous residence in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
  • Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization until the time of naturalization
  • Be physically present in the United States for at least 18 months out of the 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application

 

So the first bullet point requires the applicant to continuously be a PR in the USA.  But the third requires the applicant to be physically present in the USA for at least 18 months out of the 3 years.  I am sure it's clear to lots of people, but I can't seem to clearly understand if the applicant has to be in the USA for 3 continuous years or not?

 

Also, we live in Michigan and 15 minutes from the Canadian border and sometimes we do go to Canada for brief vacations (1-4 days). Does this mean the 3 continuous years resets every time we reenter the USA?  

 

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14 minutes ago, DILAW said:

So the first bullet point requires the applicant to continuously be a PR in the USA.  But the third requires the applicant to be physically present in the USA for at least 18 months out of the 3 years.  I am sure it's clear to lots of people, but I can't seem to clearly understand if the applicant has to be in the USA for 3 continuous years or not?

 

Also, we live in Michigan and 15 minutes from the Canadian border and sometimes we do go to Canada for brief vacations (1-4 days). Does this mean the 3 continuous years resets every time we reenter the USA?  

 

“Continuous residence” is different than physically present, legally speaking. “Continuous residence” means that the applicant has maintained residence within the United States for the required period of time shown above.

Extended absences outside of the U.S. may disrupt an applicant’s continuous residence.

https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-naturalization/continuous-residence-and-physical-presence-requirements-naturalization

 

In short, as long as the PR never leaves the US for more than 6 months at a time,  the "continuous residence" clause would be satisfied. Your 1-4 days incursions to Canada do not break the continuous residence requirement.

 

The other clause " Physically present in the U.S. for eighteen months within the three year period" is pretty self-explanatory. You have to list ALL trips outside of the US since the person becomes LPR. And yes, they will count the days to make sure the LPR was physically inside the US in the three years.

Edited by USS_Voyager

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7 minutes ago, USS_Voyager said:

“Continuous residence” is different than physically present, legally speaking. “Continuous residence” means that the applicant has maintained residence within the United States for the required period of time shown above.

Extended absences outside of the U.S. may disrupt an applicant’s continuous residence.

https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-naturalization/continuous-residence-and-physical-presence-requirements-naturalization

 

In short, as long as the PR never leaves the US for more than 6 months at a time,  the "continuous residence" clause would be satisfied. Your 1-4 days incursions to Canada do not break the continuous residence requirement.

 

The other clause " Physically present in the U.S. for eighteen months within the three year period" is pretty self-explanatory. You have to list ALL trips outside of the US since the person becomes LPR. And yes, they will count the days to make sure the LPR was physically inside the US in the three years.

What he said.  As an example, my wife took at least two trips a year back to Russia to visit her mother since she became an LPR.  None of the trips were more than six weeks (most 3-4 weeks), and we disclosed every trip on her N400 including all the days she was outside the US, and she had no problems.  She never relinquished her LPR status by setting up residency outside the US, so she satisfied all three bullet items from the OP.

 

Good Luck!


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8 minutes ago, USS_Voyager said:

“Continuous residence” is different than physically present, legally speaking. “Continuous residence” means that the applicant has maintained residence within the United States for the required period of time shown above.

Extended absences outside of the U.S. may disrupt an applicant’s continuous residence.

https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-naturalization/continuous-residence-and-physical-presence-requirements-naturalization

 

In short, as long as the PR never leave the US for more than 6 months at a time,  the "continuous residence" clause would be satisfied. Your 1-4 days incursions to Canada do not break the continuous residence requirement.

 

The other clause " Physically present in the U.S. for eighteen months within the three year period" is pretty self-explanatory. You have to list ALL trips outside of the US since the person becomes LPR. And yes, they will count the days to make sure the LPR was physically inside the US in the three years.

Thank you for the clarification.  I remember someone telling long time ago that they deduct the number of days the applicant spent outside the USA.  For example if the applicant left the USA for 15 total days in the 3 years, then they would need to apply 3 years + 15 days from the day they became a PR.  But according to your explanation above which I think is correct and makes sense, it won't affect it.

 

Thank you

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9 minutes ago, Bill & Katya said:

What he said.  As an example, my wife took at least two trips a year back to Russia to visit her mother since she became an LPR.  None of the trips were more than six weeks (most 3-4 weeks), and we disclosed every trip on her N400 including all the days she was outside the US, and she had no problems.  She never relinquished her LPR status by setting up residency outside the US, so she satisfied all three bullet items from the OP.

 

Good Luck!

Thank you for your reply.  It's crystal clear now after your post along with looking at your timeline :)  The first post by USS_Voyager was clear too.  Thank you both

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2 hours ago, DILAW said:

Thank you for the clarification.  I remember someone telling long time ago that they deduct the number of days the applicant spent outside the USA.  For example if the applicant left the USA for 15 total days in the 3 years, then they would need to apply 3 years + 15 days from the day they became a PR.  But according to your explanation above which I think is correct and makes sense, it won't affect it.

 

Thank you

Not true.

And like previous comments say, it i not like you live there or been out for more than 6 months at a time.


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Thank you DILAW for raising this issue. I was searching for an answer to this very same question. And a VERY big thank you to the good folks that cleared this up.

 

In Form G-1151 (Thinking About Applying for Naturalization) there is a dot-point requirement stating:

Show that you have been physically present in the United States for 30 months. (In some cases, this may be 18 months if you are married to a U.S. citizen.)

 

As this dot-point is worded differently to the advice at the link above provided by Bill & Katya, by it NOT including the words 'within the three year period', I had been reading the requirement as meaning 18 continuous months.

 

Needless to say I am extremely happy to see that is not the case!

Thanks again to all.

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On 2/12/2019 at 2:08 PM, USS_Voyager said:

“Continuous residence” is different than physically present, legally speaking. “Continuous residence” means that the applicant has maintained residence within the United States for the required period of time shown above.

Extended absences outside of the U.S. may disrupt an applicant’s continuous residence.

https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-naturalization/continuous-residence-and-physical-presence-requirements-naturalization

 

In short, as long as the PR never leaves the US for more than 6 months at a time,  the "continuous residence" clause would be satisfied. Your 1-4 days incursions to Canada do not break the continuous residence requirement.

 

The other clause " Physically present in the U.S. for eighteen months within the three year period" is pretty self-explanatory. You have to list ALL trips outside of the US since the person becomes LPR. And yes, they will count the days to make sure the LPR was physically inside the US in the three years.

I was speaking to a friend (he's a US Citizen who works and lives overseas) and we were discussing the N-400 process.  His wife is not a US-Citizen, but has a valid permanent resident card or "green card".  Him and his wife visit the US every 5.5 months for about 2-3 weeks.  He's been doing this for 5 years.  When I asked him why they were traveling back to the USA every 5.5 months, he replied so his wife can qualify or apply for her citizenship.  He's under the impression that this year his wife will qualify to apply for her citizenship because her permanent residency has been valid for 5 years.  In the past 5 years, his wife has spent less then 5 months PHYSICALLY in the USA, but he seems to believe she will qualify.

Can someone tell me if he's right?  If he is right, why does it say:

  • Be physically present in the United States for at least 18 months out of the 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application

I am kind of confused now

  

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5 minutes ago, DILAW said:

Can someone tell me if he's right?  If he is right, why does it say:

Of course he's not right. Not only they will reject her N-400 if she files for citizenship. She is also at risk of losing her permanent residency. Once of these days, when she tries enter the US, CBP may deny her entry and deems that she has abandoned her green card.

 

 

https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/educators/naturalization-information#eligibility_reqmts

https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/maintaining-permanent-residence#abandoning

Naturalization Eligibility Requirements

Before an individual applies for naturalization, he or she must meet a few requirements. Depending on the individual’s situation, there are different requirements that may apply. General requirements for naturalization are below.

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

  • Be a permanent resident (have a “Green Card”) for at least 5 years.

  • Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply. 

  • Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400. 

  • Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400. 

  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English. 

  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics). 

  • Be a person of good moral character. 

  • Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

Abandoning Permanent Resident Status

You may also lose your permanent resident status by intentionally abandoning it. You may be found to have abandoned your status if you:

  • Move to another country, intending to live there permanently.
  • Remain outside of the United States for an extended period of time, unless you intended this to be a temporary absence, as shown by:
    • The reason for your trip;
    • How long you intended to be absent from the United States;
    • Any other circumstances of your absence; and
    • Any events that may have prolonged your absence.
    • Note: Obtaining a re-entry permit from USCIS before you leave, or a returning resident visa (SB-1) from a U.S. consulate while abroad, may assist you in showing that you intended only a temporary absence.
  • Fail to file income tax returns while living outside of the United States for any period.
  • Declare yourself a “nonimmigrant” on your U.S. tax returns.

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2 minutes ago, USS_Voyager said:

Of course he's not right. Not only they will reject her N-400 if she files for citizenship. She is also at risk of losing her permanent residency. Once of these days, when she tries enter the US, CBP may deny her entry and deems that she has abandoned her green card.

 

 

https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/educators/naturalization-information#eligibility_reqmts

https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/maintaining-permanent-residence#abandoning

Naturalization Eligibility Requirements

Before an individual applies for naturalization, he or she must meet a few requirements. Depending on the individual’s situation, there are different requirements that may apply. General requirements for naturalization are below.

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

  • Be a permanent resident (have a “Green Card”) for at least 5 years.

  • Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply. 

  • Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400. 

  • Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400. 

  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English. 

  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics). 

  • Be a person of good moral character. 

  • Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

Abandoning Permanent Resident Status

You may also lose your permanent resident status by intentionally abandoning it. You may be found to have abandoned your status if you:

  • Move to another country, intending to live there permanently.
  • Remain outside of the United States for an extended period of time, unless you intended this to be a temporary absence, as shown by:
    • The reason for your trip;
    • How long you intended to be absent from the United States;
    • Any other circumstances of your absence; and
    • Any events that may have prolonged your absence.
    • Note: Obtaining a re-entry permit from USCIS before you leave, or a returning resident visa (SB-1) from a U.S. consulate while abroad, may assist you in showing that you intended only a temporary absence.
  • Fail to file income tax returns while living outside of the United States for any period.
  • Declare yourself a “nonimmigrant” on your U.S. tax returns.

That's what I thought.  Although I was confident of the facts I know, he was so confident that he made me unsure if I was correct.  As far as losing her PR, I know what you are saying but they have been doing it for almost 5 years and never ran into any issues.  Her husband has a very good job overseas (over $140K/year) and all housing and utilities fees are covered by his employer.  They only come to the USA every 5.5 months or to give birth which is unfair if you ask me.  I am not a racist in any way, but I am actually against birth right citizenship.  There are lots of Gulf citizens who live a luxurious/spoiled life in their countries and because they are not required to file for a visa before visiting the USA, they arrive in the USA to give birth then go back home.  When their kids complete high school, they bring them to the USA to go to college and pay the same tuition fee that true residents pay.  I know I sound bitter/jealous, but it's just not fair   

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27 minutes ago, DILAW said:

s far as losing her PR, I know what you are saying but they have been doing it for almost 5 years and never ran into any issues.

Doesn't mean the next time they won't. All it takes is one time. 

 

28 minutes ago, DILAW said:

They only come to the USA every 5.5 months or to give birth which is unfair if you ask me.  I am not a racist in any way, but I am actually against birth right citizenship. 

Doesn't matter anyway. If the father is a US citizen, most likely the kid will be as well. So I can do it anywhere. 

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3 minutes ago, USS_Voyager said:

Doesn't mean the next time they won't. All it takes is one time. 

 

Doesn't matter anyway. If the father is a US citizen, most likely the kid will be as well. So I can do it anywhere. 

For my friend who is a US Citizen and we grew up here in the US, I know his kids will get it anyways.  He told me others who are not US Citizens living in the Gulf (Saudis, Qataris, Kuwaitis, etc.) send their wives to the US on a "tourist" visits which they get at the point of entry in the USA and give birth, then return home to their countries.  I am talking about non US Citizen's giving birth in the US

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36 minutes ago, DILAW said:

I am talking about non US Citizen's giving birth in the US

Oh yeah. People do that all the time. Have you heard of the term “birth tourism”? The Chinese have agencies that advertise openly in China. They got everything down to an art. They rent apartments/houses. The women arrive several months before birth. They hire nurses, midwives, the whole care team. I mean these people pay $100,000 a pop, so they have pre and post natal care provided by nurses and doctors who are in on the scheme. It’s big business.

 

Here’s one ring they took down recently: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/31/us/anchor-baby-birth-tourism.html

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