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Immigration Issues/Am I eligible to apply for Naturalization?


Mr Hay, I am in a process of filing N-400. I have been a lawful permanent resident of the US for 5 years. During those 5 years, I have taken 3 trips outside of the US. Two of them lasted about 20 days each and the third one was for about 11 months. I spent those 11 months in my home country finishing the last year of my college. Am I eligible to apply for Naturalization despite of that 11 month trip? There are cases when a trip over 6 months but less than 12 months is allowed. Would this be the case?

I am afraid that the last stay of 11 months broke your period of residence. You need to prove that you maintained a continuous residence of at least 50% of each year in the USA for a 5 year period. When you left and stayed out for 11 months, you most likely broke that 5 year continuous residency. However, if you apply and are denied, you will not be punished in any way, and the 5 year clock started ticking again when you returned from the 11 month stay.

What do you have to lose? They may approve your citizenship by mistake.

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Alexander J. Hay


I am a U.S. lawyer with offices in Houston, Texas and in Belize. I can answer questions on U.S. Immigration, U.S. corporate law, and Offshore Tax and Asset Planning.
If you are on an H or L visa I am NOT GOING TO ANSWER your questions since they are usually highly fact oriented, and also you have a company attorney handling the whole thing. Call your own attorney please! If you disregard this request, don't be surprised if I answer with "homework question".


I am a U.S. attorney with offices in the United States and Belize. I have experience helping to protect assets, reduce taxes, and improve investment performance by utilizing global investment techniques.

Harvard University, A.B. degree; University of Houston Law Center, J.D. Degree; Fulbright Scholar

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