Immigration Issues/Citizenship

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Question
QUESTION: Dear Sir,

I am a green card holder and so is my husband.

We live abroad.

In 2005 I re-entered the US and stayed 3 months.  I did the same in the years 2006 , 2007, and 2008, re-entered the US, stayed each year for 3 months in the US, and left again for 9 months abroad.

This year I re-entered in March and I am still here, 7 months in the US.

Can I apply for the US citizenshio now?

If not, when am I eligible to apply for the US citizenship?  I live abroad.

TIA


ANSWER: Hi,

You can apply for naturalization since more than 50% of the time in the past 5 years has been physically spent in the U.S.

Any single absence of one year or more within the 5 year period immediately preceding the filing of the naturalization application would have reset the 5 year clock; in other words, you would have need to wait another 5 years to file the naturalization application. However, any absence between 6 months and one year is OK if you maintained a residence in the U.S. even though you were absent for seven months continuously. The USCIS may look at evidence such as the following for evidence of residence in the U.S. (examples follow): lease or mortgage payments made during the absence; bank account; payment of utility bills; employment or study obligations in the U.S.; payment of all taxes, etc.

Regards,
Ajay K. Arora, Esq.
www.H1B1.com

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Sir,
Now I am a bit confused:
You write that I can apply for the citizenship right now?  I did not spend 50% of the past 5 years in the US, only 3 months out of each year, multiplied by 4 years = 12 months, plus 7 months this year = total of 19 months spent in the US, out of 60 months.

According to your explanation I still have to spend at least 14 months in the US, I have to LIVE in  the US, not abroad, I have to live in the state where I am applying and living for 3 months before applying, and I have to PROVE that I did not interrupt my continuous residence during the years I stayed outside the US for more than 6 months.
Could you please confirm this.
Thanks in advance.  

Answer
Hi,

Your statement is correct in your follow-up email. I had earlier misread your email and assumed that you were spending 9 months of every year in the U.S., whereas you were in actuality spending 9 months outside the U.S.

Thus, you would need to spend an additional 11 or 12 months or so in the U.S. before applying for naturalization, assuming as well that you are living for at least 3 months in the state from which you are applying immediately preceding the filing of the naturalization application.

Regards,
Ajay K. Arora, Esq.
www.H1B1.com

Immigration Issues

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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