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hopefulls

Traveling abroad while application is pending

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Hello,

I applied for citizenship for my wife this past November and the application is currently pending. The estimated completion time is 14 months (Fort Lauderdale center), so she should become a citizen in January 2020.

However my wife is currently pregnant with the baby due in December. We applied for emergency Medicaid, but our request was denied. Being without insurance and family support here in the United States, we decided to have the baby in my country of origin (Italy). We are planning to leave in June and come back to the US in April of next year, for a total of 10 months abroad.

Does anybody know how our extensive stay abroad will affect her application for citizenship? We were reading that there is a requirement which prohibits staying abroad for longer than 6 months. Will we have to reapply for citizenship for my wife when we come back next year?  


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"TO LOVE IS NOTHING. TO BE LOVED IS SOMETHING. BUT TO BE LOVED BY THE PERSON YOU LOVE...IS EVERYTHING."

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Here are the time period requirements for residency and physical presence:

 

    Resided continuously in the U.S. for three years in the case of qualified spouses of U.S. citizens, (see legal basis

 

    Physically present in the U.S. for eighteen months within the three year period before applying in the case of qualified spouses of U.S. citizens (see legal basis)

 

So, if you maintain a residence within the US for the entire 10 months that you're abroad, you might still qualify for residing continuously for 3 years. On the physical presence, you might qualify for 18 months assuming you haven't made any other extended trips abroad during those 3 years.


Marriage: 2014-02-23 - Colombia    ROC interview/completed: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque
CR1 started : 2014-06-06           N400 started: 2018-04-24
CR1 completed/POE : 2015-07-13     N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque
ROC started : 2017-04-14 CSC     Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 – Santa Fe

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2 hours ago, Russ&Caro said:

Here are the time period requirements for residency and physical presence:

 

    Resided continuously in the U.S. for three years in the case of qualified spouses of U.S. citizens, (see legal basis

 

    Physically present in the U.S. for eighteen months within the three year period before applying in the case of qualified spouses of U.S. citizens (see legal basis)

 

So, if you maintain a residence within the US for the entire 10 months that you're abroad, you might still qualify for residing continuously for 3 years. On the physical presence, you might qualify for 18 months assuming you haven't made any other extended trips abroad during those 3 years.

I am a US citizen, my wife has been a resident since September 2014, and she has been spending almost all of that time in the US. The only exception is a three month stay abroad in Italy last year. Then we took short trips abroad here and there, probably for a total of no more than 15 days since September 2014.

We will still maintain our residence in the US for the whole 10 months that we will spend in Italy.

So according to the rules that you mentioned, she shouldn't have any problem, right?


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"TO LOVE IS NOTHING. TO BE LOVED IS SOMETHING. BUT TO BE LOVED BY THE PERSON YOU LOVE...IS EVERYTHING."

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12 hours ago, hopefulls said:

So according to the rules that you mentioned, she shouldn't have any problem, right?

Well, if you add 3 months to 10 months, plus additional trips as you mentioned, you're getting ever closer to the 18 month limit for physical presence. Also, your continuous residency is best proven by an uninterrupted lease of an apartment or continuous mortgage payments on a house that you own. If you're using a parent's or friend's address as proof that might present problems. Also, you have to worry about maintaining her green card. The guidelines set forth by USCIS state that any green card holder engaging on a trip abroad for longer than 6 months should apply for a re-entry permit or risk abandonment of the green card. I would study the USCIS website on all of the rules and guidelines associated with naturalization and green cards and make sure you're following all the rules exactly. Good luck.


Marriage: 2014-02-23 - Colombia    ROC interview/completed: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque
CR1 started : 2014-06-06           N400 started: 2018-04-24
CR1 completed/POE : 2015-07-13     N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque
ROC started : 2017-04-14 CSC     Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 – Santa Fe

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Russ&Caro said:

 The guidelines set forth by USCIS state that any green card holder engaging on a trip abroad for longer than 6 months should apply for a re-entry permit or risk abandonment of the green card. 

I don't disagree with the rest of your assessment but this is untrue, it's one year.

"If you are an LPR planning to travel outside of the United States for 1 year or more, it is important that you apply for a reentry permit"

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/B5en.pdf

Edited by SusieQQQ

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1 hour ago, Lil bear said:

Continuous residence is usually considered broken by a period over 6 months. Residency may still be considered maintained over that period , but both residency and physical presence tests must be met 

Yes, the requirements are (usually) calculated on actual time in the US regardless of whether or not the green card requirements for residency are met (less than  a year out, or a re-entry permit if longer)

Seen before people surprised to get denied because "I had a re-entry permit"

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9 hours ago, Russ&Caro said:

Well, if you add 3 months to 10 months, plus additional trips as you mentioned, you're getting ever closer to the 18 month limit for physical presence. Also, your continuous residency is best proven by an uninterrupted lease of an apartment or continuous mortgage payments on a house that you own. If you're using a parent's or friend's address as proof that might present problems. Also, you have to worry about maintaining her green card. The guidelines set forth by USCIS state that any green card holder engaging on a trip abroad for longer than 6 months should apply for a re-entry permit or risk abandonment of the green card. I would study the USCIS website on all of the rules and guidelines associated with naturalization and green cards and make sure you're following all the rules exactly. Good luck.

We actually fully own the condo where we live (paid cash), and we have been living there since August 2015.

I thought that a permanent resident could stay outside of the US a whole year.


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"TO LOVE IS NOTHING. TO BE LOVED IS SOMETHING. BUT TO BE LOVED BY THE PERSON YOU LOVE...IS EVERYTHING."

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8 hours ago, Lil bear said:

Continuous residence is usually considered broken by a period over 6 months. Residency may still be considered maintained over that period , but both residency and physical presence tests must be met 

Are you talking about naturalization or green card?


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"TO LOVE IS NOTHING. TO BE LOVED IS SOMETHING. BUT TO BE LOVED BY THE PERSON YOU LOVE...IS EVERYTHING."

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15 minutes ago, hopefulls said:

We actually fully own the condo where we live (paid cash), and we have been living there since August 2015.

I thought that a permanent resident could stay outside of the US a whole year.

Maintaining the LPR status and meeting the residency and physical presence for naturalisation have different criteria 

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24 minutes ago, Lil bear said:

Maintaining the LPR status and meeting the residency and physical presence for naturalisation have different criteria 

But she should be ok in both cases right?

She will be outside of the US for 9 and a half months, therefore less than a year, so she should be able to maintain the LPR status.

Also including the upcoming 9 and a half months abroad, she has spent more than 18 months (about 24 months to be exact) in the last three years in the US, so she should still qualify for naturalization.

The only reason we are going abroad for this long is because my wife is pregnant, and we were denied emergency Medicaid. So we can't afford to have the baby in the US. Do you thing that USCIS will consider it a mitigating factor?


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"TO LOVE IS NOTHING. TO BE LOVED IS SOMETHING. BUT TO BE LOVED BY THE PERSON YOU LOVE...IS EVERYTHING."

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, hopefulls said:

But she should be ok in both cases right?

She will be outside of the US for 9 and a half months, therefore less than a year, so she should be able to maintain the LPR status.

Also including the upcoming 9 and a half months abroad, she has spent more than 18 months (about 24 months to be exact) in the last three years in the US, so she should still qualify for naturalization.

The only reason we are going abroad for this long is because my wife is pregnant, and we were denied emergency Medicaid. So we can't afford to have the baby in the US. Do you thing that USCIS will consider it a mitigating factor?

You need to throughly review the N400 requirements 

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

 

an absence of over 6 months automatically disrupt continuous residence ..some leeway .. but it’s for things like when the rest of the family stayed in the US 

https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-12-part-d-chapter-3

 

IMO inability to pay for medical care isn’t going to cut it with USCIS.. that is the whole reason for the sponsor requirement. 

 

You can probably do what you are talking about from a GC status perspective , but my read is that she will then have to be back on the US for 2 years and 1 day before being eligible to file for naturalisation 

 

also .. entry into the US for an LPR is never guaranteed .. it’s not as simple as length of time away .. the CBP Officer assesses travel history , intent etc each time 

Edited by Lil bear

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47 minutes ago, Lil bear said:

You need to throughly review the N400 requirements 

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

 

an absence of over 6 months automatically disrupt continuous residence ..some leeway .. but it’s for things like when the rest of the family stayed in the US 

https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-12-part-d-chapter-3

 

IMO inability to pay for medical care isn’t going to cut it with USCIS.. that is the whole reason for the sponsor requirement. 

 

You can probably do what you are talking about from a GC status perspective , but my read is that she will then have to be back on the US for 2 years and 1 day before being eligible to file for naturalisation 

 

also .. entry into the US for an LPR is never guaranteed .. it’s not as simple as length of time away .. the CBP Officer assesses travel history , intent etc each time 

I reviewed the link that you provided, and to me it seems like the continuous residence and physical presence requirements consider the time spent in the US before the application is sent to USCIS. We have already sent the application in November, and at that time my wife fulfilled all the requirements. I think that the time to take into consideration in our case is the time between the submission of the application and the interview with USCIS which will probably take place when we will be abroad. I thought that the most trouble we would run into was to have to reschedule the interview from abroad, but now you are making me think that we have a lot more to worry about. 


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"TO LOVE IS NOTHING. TO BE LOVED IS SOMETHING. BUT TO BE LOVED BY THE PERSON YOU LOVE...IS EVERYTHING."

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18 minutes ago, hopefulls said:

I reviewed the link that you provided, and to me it seems like the continuous residence and physical presence requirements consider the time spent in the US before the application is sent to USCIS. We have already sent the application in November, and at that time my wife fulfilled all the requirements. I think that the time to take into consideration in our case is the time between the submission of the application and the interview with USCIS which will probably take place when we will be abroad. I thought that the most trouble we would run into was to have to reschedule the interview from abroad, but now you are making me think that we have a lot more to worry about. 

Certainly in one angle you are right about the devils ration st the time of application ... they ask about travel between application and interview at the interview.  Worst case scenario is that the eligability to file for naturalisation is pushed out. If it’s denied due to the travel then you reapply when it’s time. Seems that managing the pregnancy and delivery is rightly a higher priority 

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