Continuous residence question for n-400: away for 9 months

johnhoffmanfarrel

New Member
Got the green card on: 03/25/2008

In the past 5 years I have 2 trips outside US:
1) from 09/13/2010 to 03/10/2011 -> 178 days
2) from 9/13/2009 to 07/02/2010 -> 292 days

In the checklist for n-400 it is said:
"if you have taken any trip outside US more than 6 months or more since becoming a permanent resident send evidence that you continued to live and keep ties to the US" - get tax history for the past 5 years(last point of first page).

I finished my studies abroad during those trips and I only started to work after I came back to the US from the last trip, so I don't have any tax history before that. That gives me tax history for the last 3 years rather than five. (I was a student before that, if it helps)

Would I still be able to apply for citizenship now?

Thank you very much for your help.
 

baikal3

Registered Users (C)
Got the green card on: 03/25/2008

In the past 5 years I have 2 trips outside US:
1) from 09/13/2010 to 03/10/2011 -> 178 days
2) from 9/13/2009 to 07/02/2010 -> 292 days

In the checklist for n-400 it is said:
"if you have taken any trip outside US more than 6 months or more since becoming a permanent resident send evidence that you continued to live and keep ties to the US" - get tax history for the past 5 years(last point of first page).

I finished my studies abroad during those trips and I only started to work after I came back to the US from the last trip, so I don't have any tax history before that. That gives me tax history for the last 3 years rather than five. (I was a student before that, if it helps)

Would I still be able to apply for citizenship now?

Thank you very much for your help.

How were you financially supported during your studies abroad? Did your parents support you? If yes, were your parents living in the U.S. or abroad during that time?
 

johnhoffmanfarrel

New Member
I studied in my home country, where the education is free. However, the living expenses were covered by my parents at that time.

My parents were living here and there: partly in the US and partly in my home country.

Thanks so much for your reply.
 

baikal3

Registered Users (C)
I studied in my home country, where the education is free. However, the living expenses were covered by my parents at that time.

My parents were living here and there: partly in the US and partly in my home country.

Thanks so much for your reply.
Hmm, OK.
In my opinion, if you apply now, the chances of your N-400 being approved are extremely low.

The situation with the continuous residence requirement for students who are studying abroad is pretty murky, and the USCIS does not provide explicit guidance on this point. There is a provision in the law, 8 CFR 316.5(b)(2), which says the following:
"An applicant who is attending an educational institution in a State or Service District other than the applicant's home residence may apply for naturalization where that institution is located, or in the State of the applicant's home residence if the applicant is financially dependent upon his or her parents at the time of filing and during the naturalization process."
See http://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume12-PartD-Chapter6.html

In terms of its literal language, this provision only applies to the question of determining residency (for the purposes of deciding jurisdiction as to which USCIS office should adjudicate an N-400 application) of an N-400 applicant who is a college student studying in the U.S.
It is possible (although this is basically speculative) that the USCIS may apply similar logic to the issue of continuous residency.
This if an N-400 applicant was a college student studying abroad, but his parents lived in the U.S. at the time and the student was financially dependent on them, the student might try to make the argument to the IO that the absences abroad (provided they were under 1 year each) did not interrupt continuous residency. I have now idea if such an argument might work, but I would imagine that in order to have any chance of working, the applicant would, at the very least, have to demonstrate that during his/her studies abroad the applicant's parents claimed him/her as a dependent in their tax returns, and that they resided in the U.S. during that time.
 

FriscoDude

Registered Users (C)
Hmm, OK.
In my opinion, if you apply now, the chances of your N-400 being approved are extremely low.

The situation with the continuous residence requirement for students who are studying abroad is pretty murky, and the USCIS does not provide explicit guidance on this point. There is a provision in the law, 8 CFR 316.5(b)(2), which says the following:
"An applicant who is attending an educational institution in a State or Service District other than the applicant's home residence may apply for naturalization where that institution is located, or in the State of the applicant's home residence if the applicant is financially dependent upon his or her parents at the time of filing and during the naturalization process."
See http://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume12-PartD-Chapter6.html

In terms of its literal language, this provision only applies to the question of determining residency (for the purposes of deciding jurisdiction as to which USCIS office should adjudicate an N-400 application) of an N-400 applicant who is a college student studying in the U.S.
It is possible (although this is basically speculative) that the USCIS may apply similar logic to the issue of continuous residency.
This if an N-400 applicant was a college student studying abroad, but his parents lived in the U.S. at the time and the student was financially dependent on them, the student might try to make the argument to the IO that the absences abroad (provided they were under 1 year each) did not interrupt continuous residency. I have now idea if such an argument might work, but I would imagine that in order to have any chance of working, the applicant would, at the very least, have to demonstrate that during his/her studies abroad the applicant's parents claimed him/her as a dependent in their tax returns, and that they resided in the U.S. during that time
.

Good point. I think his chances would be higher had his parents lived in the US during his studies, but the fact that they lived in here and there lower them.
 
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