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USVI/Puerto Rico..is this travel outside US?

Discussion in 'US Citizenship' started by lextran, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. lextran

    lextran Registered Users (C)

    We just returned from Saint Thomas(USVI), the main reason I chose this as a vacation spot was my understanding that no passport etc.. will be required, to my surprise everyone returning was required to show a passport and go through custom and immigration just like returning from Canada or Mexico. Fortunately we had the GC's and the children's birth cert., and a kind IO who was willing o listen and spend a few extra minutes and allowed us back into the US, also while boarding from San Juan, Puerto Rico, we were once again asked about immigration status and proof...so to the Gurus, would you list travel to USVI and Puerto Rico as travel outside US for the N400 purpose.
  2. boatbod

    boatbod Registered Users (C)

    Saint Thomas/USVI is a free trade area (you get a duty-free allowance), so essentially you'll need a passport to travel in/out.

    Puerto Rico is considered part of the US for physical presence/continuous residence purposes. Probably the passport check is due to the issues with Haitian refugees and other people attempting to illegally enter the mainland US.
  3. yummyk

    yummyk Registered Users (C)

    I had the same dilemma when filing my N-400 application back in August 2007.
    I spent a three day business trip in Puerto Rico and I was not sure if this was an international trip or not. I had brought my pport and GC with me on the trip (as I assumed it was an international trip) but I did not have to go through Immigration on the way there or back (although they did ask me my citizenship as I got on the airplane for the return flight).

    I also struggled on whether to include PR on my N-400. In the end, I decided to be cautious and include it. They can always remove it at a later date when I go for the interview. Based on what Boatbod says above, I probably did not need to include it, but again it wasn't clear to me so I erred on the side of caution.

    You can always mention your trip at your interview and allow the IO to decide whether to put it in or take it out. In my case, I have a total of about 20 trips out of the US, but most of them were weekend getaways to Mexico - I live close to the Mexican border. My longest trip out of the US was 8 days and total days outside the country is ~ 58 so I don't think I have continuous residency or physical presence issues. That being said, I really don't care whether they count my trip to PR or not!
  4. lextran

    lextran Registered Users (C)

    Thanx guys, I love this forum, someone is always out there to address almost any issue and often times with a personal touch(experience)

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