I wanted to share my wife's N400 interview experience which had lots of continuous residency issues. it is thanks to this forum's contributions that we decided to apply anyway in spite of the fact our own lawyer advised us against it. and she got approved and had her oath on the very same day!
a bit of a background. wife got her green card through the DV lottery back in early 2007. however, due to the fact she already had a job in our own country she couldn't just move to the US right away so she basically had to travel back and forth (several back to back trips) until late 2008. then, she moved for good, found work in the US, we bought a house, etc. unfortunately, about 2 years ago she had to once again start travelling back and forth between the US and our country due to a health crisis on her side of the family. on more than one occasion, officers at the POEs threatened to lift her green card if she kept on doing the back to back trips thing. in addition, last year she got pregnant with our first child which was born in the US. we were aware our case had "issues" so we decided to hire a lawyer to represent us. after reviewing all the details about the trips and everything, our lawyer advised us to wait another year or so so that a whole bunch of trips would be out of the 5 year window.
we weren't convinced. we believed we did not do anything wrong. no single trip was more than 6 months and her intention has always been to be in the US.
in addition, I did some research and found lots of similar cases with continuous residency issues on this forum,
among others, which actually turned out ok. as a result, we decided to apply anyway as that would have saved us a year
worth of additional separation (I have a 3 year ban myself so I can't travel at all to the US until later this year).
my wife applied for citizenship 7 months after he last long trip (less than 6 months) and 2 months after our son was born. she applied with slightly less than 900 days out of the US. definitely a close case!
she had a smooth 10 minute very pleasant interview. the IO was very nice. she asked a few questions about all those trips but she didn't make a big deal out of them. my wife provided her with evidence regarding those long trips ( a statement from the family member who was ill, etc) and she went on to approve my wife's petition w/o too much trouble. she had her oath the very same day.
I'm not sure if this helped make our case stronger but she also filed a I-130 petition on my behalf a couple of weeks before sending the N400 in. we only recently learned that wait times for the F2A category are now only slightly more than 2 years so we figured we would send my petition in "to get in line" in case the N400 thing did not work out.
we would like to thank everybody on this forum for giving us the strength to move forward with our application. your posts have been extremely helpful. we hope sharing our experience will help somebody else too.
stay strong. IT CAN be done!