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Nyanna

N400 Immigration Lawyer's advice is different from my research

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I'm hoping to get some second opinions here. I have a green card since 2006 and want to start my N400 process (5 year basis) and have it done by the end of 2019. My main concern is processing time since my parents are not well and my grandma is 93 years old (they are all in my home country). I really want to get this done as soon as possible so I don't have to deal with immigration if I have to be by my parents side for extended period of time if something were to happen. I also have a really good job opportunity (global firm) in my home country. I'm filing from Cleveland, Ohio so it should be relatively fast compared to other field offices.

 

I have around 850 full days outside of US in total in the past 5 years. I'm currently outside of the US right now so there are 11 trips in total including this current trip. This trip will be 175 days outside of the US (I'm returning to US on April 15) and one other trip was exactly 6 month (183 days exactly). All the other trips are less than 6 months.

I have not filed any tax return before due to being a college student til 2016 and self study/no employment afterwards. I started helping out at my dad's firm in my home country beginning of 2019 for couple months (til now) so I don't need to file yet.

 

The lawyer wants me to file taxes for all previous years to show record and that I'm a good resident. She says having foreign employment is not a big deal as long as I have a job. She also says I should wait 6-7 months (she told me the earliest I should file is Nov) before I file N400 because it's too risky to file too soon after I return to the US. She told me that she doesn't want me to come off as an entitled person living off of my parents (but I've been preparing to become a CPA after graduation).

All these statements contradicts with what I have read online and on this forum. I can do as instructed and file all past 5 years return but I really don't want to wait till November to start N400 process.

Should I get second opinions from another lawyer?

Thanks in advance. I'm just really stressed and confused.

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It sounds like your continuous residence was also broken / will be broken when you return. Multiple trips in excess of 6 months can be considered to break it. Trips of 6 months (181 days technically) to 1 year have a presumption of having broke it.

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume12-PartD-Chapter3.html

 

I don't see an issue with taxes since you weren't required to file, nor any need to wait more than 3 months upon return to file (as is required).


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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@geowrian Thanks for your reply.

 

I agree and I am aware that the 6 month trip may or may not break my continuous residence but my lawyer doesn't seem to be too concerned about it. As for this current trip, the duration will be 175 days once I return. So technically I only have one trip that may break my continuous residence requirement (183 days).

 

I'm still not sure why I should wait 6-7 months before I file for N400. Sigh

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Nyanna said:

I have around 850 full days outside of US in total in the past 5 years. I'm currently outside of the US right now so there are 11 trips in total including this current trip. This trip will be 175 days outside of the US (I'm returning to US on April 15)

 

4 hours ago, Nyanna said:

She also says I should wait 6-7 months (she told me the earliest I should file is Nov) before I file N400 because it's too risky to file too soon after I return to the US.

 

Continuous presence requirements aside, I agree with your lawyer to wait before filing....because from the info you've given above, you will also have broken the Physical Presence requirement too for the N400 if you were to file right after your return to the US.

Edited by Going through

Applied for Naturalization based on 5-year Residency - 96 Days To Complete Citizenship!

July 14, 2017 (Day 00) -  Submitted N400 Application, filed online

July 21, 2017 (Day 07) -  NOA Receipt received in the mail

July 22, 2017 (Day 08) - Biometrics appointment scheduled online, letter mailed out

July 25, 2017 (Day 11) - Biometrics PDF posted online

July 28, 2017 (Day 14) - Biometrics letter received in the mail, appointment for 08/08/17

Aug 08, 2017 (Day 24) - Biometrics (fingerprinting) completed

Aug 14, 2017 (Day 30) - Online EGOV status shows "Interview Scheduled, will mail appointment letter"

Aug 16, 2017 (Day 32) - Online MYUSCIS status shows "Interview Scheduled, read the letter we mailed you..."

Aug 17, 2017 (Day 33) - Interview Appointment Letter PDF posted online---GOT AN INTERVIEW DATE!!!

Aug 21, 2017 (Day 37) - Interview Appointment Letter received in the mail, appointment for 09/27/17

Sep. 27, 2017 (Day 74) - Naturalization Interview--- read my experience here

Sep. 27, 2017 (Day 74) - Online MYUSCIS status shows "Oath Ceremony Notice mailed"

Sep. 28, 2017 (Day 75) - Oath Ceremony Letter PDF posted online--Ceremony for 10/19/17

Oct. 02, 2017 (Day 79) -  Oath Ceremony Letter received in the mail

Oct. 19, 2017 (Day 96) -  Oath Ceremony-- read my experience here

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Going through said:

 

 

Continuous presence requirements aside, I agree with your lawyer to wait before filing....because from the info you've given above, you will also have broken the Physical Presence requirement too for the N400 if you were to file right after your return to the US.

Perhaps I wasn’t clear when I wrote the original post. My apologies. My total days outside of US would be 850 days for all my trips including this trip. I will not leave the US once I return from this trip.

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It would probably help if you provided a timeline.

 

i.e.

4/4/2014-10/1/2014 outside the US, x days

10/2/2014-2/1/2015 inside the US, x days

...


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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5 hours ago, geowrian said:

It sounds like your continuous residence was also broken / will be broken when you return. Multiple trips in excess of 6 months can be considered to break it. Trips of 6 months (181 days technically) to 1 year have a presumption of having broke it.

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume12-PartD-Chapter3.html

Just wondering....since the OP has taken up employment in the home country that may also be taken as a determining factor with breaking continuous residence, yes?  IO may view it as the OP was starting to put down residential ties to the home country.


Applied for Naturalization based on 5-year Residency - 96 Days To Complete Citizenship!

July 14, 2017 (Day 00) -  Submitted N400 Application, filed online

July 21, 2017 (Day 07) -  NOA Receipt received in the mail

July 22, 2017 (Day 08) - Biometrics appointment scheduled online, letter mailed out

July 25, 2017 (Day 11) - Biometrics PDF posted online

July 28, 2017 (Day 14) - Biometrics letter received in the mail, appointment for 08/08/17

Aug 08, 2017 (Day 24) - Biometrics (fingerprinting) completed

Aug 14, 2017 (Day 30) - Online EGOV status shows "Interview Scheduled, will mail appointment letter"

Aug 16, 2017 (Day 32) - Online MYUSCIS status shows "Interview Scheduled, read the letter we mailed you..."

Aug 17, 2017 (Day 33) - Interview Appointment Letter PDF posted online---GOT AN INTERVIEW DATE!!!

Aug 21, 2017 (Day 37) - Interview Appointment Letter received in the mail, appointment for 09/27/17

Sep. 27, 2017 (Day 74) - Naturalization Interview--- read my experience here

Sep. 27, 2017 (Day 74) - Online MYUSCIS status shows "Oath Ceremony Notice mailed"

Sep. 28, 2017 (Day 75) - Oath Ceremony Letter PDF posted online--Ceremony for 10/19/17

Oct. 02, 2017 (Day 79) -  Oath Ceremony Letter received in the mail

Oct. 19, 2017 (Day 96) -  Oath Ceremony-- read my experience here

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Going through said:

Just wondering....since the OP has taken up employment in the home country that may also be taken as a determining factor with breaking continuous residence, yes?  IO may view it as the OP was starting to put down residential ties to the home country.

It would be a consideration. The time as a student would also be considered - students generally are considered to maintain residency back home, not where they study. Lots of factors and there's no way to know how an IO will determine it beforehand.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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From the USCIS website:  note where it refers to tax returns (in bold, last two bullet points), this may be where your attorney is coming from, recommending that you file tax returns for the last five years as a resident which you can do based on your world-wide income.  Not filing any tax returns in the US looks like a lot like you're abandoning your LPR status.

 

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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1 minute ago, carmel34 said:

From the USCIS website:  note where it refers to tax returns (in bold, last two bullet points), this may be where your attorney is coming from, recommending that you file tax returns for the last five years as a resident which you can do based on your world-wide income.  Not filing any tax returns in the US looks like a lot like you're abandoning your LPR status.

 

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.

Possibly. But- it sounds like - there was no requirement to file in the OP's case (no income) so that cannot be held against them. Maybe the lawyer just wants to stop any question before it begins (although this is something a letter can address as well).


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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22 minutes ago, geowrian said:

Possibly. But- it sounds like - there was no requirement to file in the OP's case (no income) so that cannot be held against them. Maybe the lawyer just wants to stop any question before it begins (although this is something a letter can address as well).

I agree, if OP truly had zero income from any source world-wide for the last five tax years, 2014-2018, a letter explaining why would be sufficient.

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