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Immigration Issues/Naturlization (Citizenship) and absences from the U.S.

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Question
I hold Family based green card for 4 years now.  How long in total must I have residency in USA DURING 5 years to become a citizen?  Is it true that my total years of being in US will only be taken into account if I do not stay outside US more than 6 months during each absence?

Thanks for your advice.

Answer
Hi,

During the 5 year window immediately preceding the filing of the naturalization application, you must be physically present in the U.S. more than 50% of the time. Any single absence should not be greater than 180 days, but an absence for up to one year may be OK if additional documentation is provided that you never abandoned your residence in the U.S. such as tax returns, utility bills, lease or mortgage papers, employment or student status in the U.S. during your absence from the U.S., a good reason for spending more than 180 days abroad continuously (such as care for sick family members), etc.

General information about naturalization is here: http://www.h1b1.com/citizenship.htm

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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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