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Josie07m11

Apply under 3 year or 5 year residency eligibility rule?

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Hi everyone,

 

I received my permanent residency back in January 2014. I'm still happily married (6 years now) to the same man. I received my green card via the Fiancè Visa process and although I was eligible to apply for the 3 year citizenship I just never got around to it. So now that I'm filling in the N-400 form I'm confused about which box to check because both are true:

 

1) Have been a lawful permanent resident of the United States for at least 5 years

 

or 

 

2) Have been a lawful permanent resident of the United States for at least 3 years. In addition, you have been married to and living with the same U.S. citizen spouse for the last 3 years, and your spouse has been a U.S. citizen for the last 3 years at the time you filed your Form N-400

 

Are there any differences in the application process either way? Having read the form thoroughly I don't see any benefits in being a 5-year applicant as opposed to a 3-year one (aside from having been eligible to apply for citizenship earlier).

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Go with the 5 year option and you won’t really have to provide evidence of your marriage. It’s good you’re still together though. The 5 year option needs less documents from you

 

good luck 


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Agreed, file under the 5 year rule.

 

Good Luck!


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It depends on your travel and other history during the statutory period -- the period counting back 3 or 5 years from your application date and up to your taking the oath of naturalization. In most circumstances, as others have said, if you meet all the eligibility criteria, applying under the 5-year rule is the more certain route. But if you traveled extensively, especially in the first year or two of LPR, and you want to avoid scrutiny for breach of continuity of residence during that period, you might want to use the 3-year rule instead. 

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3 hours ago, afrocraft said:

It depends on your travel and other history during the statutory period -- the period counting back 3 or 5 years from your application date and up to your taking the oath of naturalization. In most circumstances, as others have said, if you meet all the eligibility criteria, applying under the 5-year rule is the more certain route. But if you traveled extensively, especially in the first year or two of LPR, and you want to avoid scrutiny for breach of continuity of residence during that period, you might want to use the 3-year rule instead. 

Thanks for pointing this out. I have done quite a bit of traveling. In all 238 days (11 international trips) over the course of 5 years, almost all of which were less than a month at a time. The longest trip I took was 44 days. Do you feel like this would trigger deeper scrutiny? We don't have a problem with applying via the 3 year marriage option.. it's just such a pain to dig up all the paperwork :/

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Josie07m11 said:

Thanks for pointing this out. I have done quite a bit of traveling. In all 238 days (11 international trips) over the course of 5 years, almost all of which were less than a month at a time. The longest trip I took was 44 days. Do you feel like this would trigger deeper scrutiny? We don't have a problem with applying via the 3 year marriage option.. it's just such a pain to dig up all the paperwork 😕

There are two conditions to

be met

Physical presence...  physically present in  the US for at least 18 of the 36 months if using 3 year rule , or 30 of the 60 months for 5 year rule. Add up all the days from every trip you have been out to see if you meet this requirement ... 238 days is just under 8 months so you are well within the requirement for both the 3 year and 5 year rule 

 

Continual residency .. continuous residence is interrupted by being outside the US for more than 6 months (in any one trip.. not cumulative). If your trips were all under 6 months you meet this condition ..  if your longest trip was 44 days, then you are fine !! 

 

A separate requirement is to have been domiciled in the state in which you are applying for at least 90 days prior to submitting your application 

Edited by Lil bear

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I agree with what has been said here, but be prepared to answer questions about your marriage. I've read posts where naturalization applicants were asked even under the 5-year rule. It sounds like that will be a non-issue for you, but better to be prepared than caught off guard. Good luck!


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