Immigration Issues/Citizenship

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Question
Good morning,
I applied for the green card a while ago and I am now a resident since August 2002. I know I will be able to apply for citizenship 5 years after that date, so it will be August 2007. However, I may need to leave the United States around September and I may not be back for a while. Would that compromise my application to citizenship ? Is there a rule that I must stay in the US until I apply for citizenship ? And if not, for how long would I be able to be out of the country without compromising my application ?
Thank you for your time.

Answer
It may very well cause you problems.  The rule is 5 years of consecutive residence, and this is defined as spending more days during each year in the US than outside the US.  So, you stay out of the US more than 178 days during any year prior to  the application being applied for and approved, you may not qualify, and you would then have to have your 5 year clock start from the start.

I would sit down with a calendar and make sure you don't spend more than 50% of the year outside the USA.

Good luck.

Immigration Issues

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Alexander J. Hay

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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".

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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.

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

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