Need advise for citizenship

#1
I got my GC in 2011. From 2011 to 2015 I was just maintaining my GC.
But I permanently moved to US in 2015. I have been maintaining my physical stay in the US and did not spend more than 5 months outside the country at any point from 2015 to 2020.
However, in March 2020 I had gone for vacation to India. Due to Covid, there were no flights and I could not come back to US within 5 months. I came back in December 2020.
I had to file for citizenship in June/July.
Can I do something that can help me save all the previous days of my physical stay in the US from 2015? And if something can be done for being outside the country for more than 6 months, since it was something out of my control as there were no flights from India at that point to come back to US.
Please advise.
 

newacct

Well-Known Member
#2
Basically, the question is whether you interrupted continuous residence or not. There have been no changes in the rules for continuous residence for COVID-19. The existing rules say that for an absence of between 6 months and 1 year, it is presumed to interrupt continuous residence, but this presumption can be overcome with certain strong evidence of ties to the US. It is impossible for us to say whether the officer will determine that your evidence overcomes the presumption or not. If it turns out that you did interrupt continuous residence, you would have to wait until 4 years and 6 months after your return before you can apply.
 

newacct

Well-Known Member
#4
How can I know if continuous residence was interrupted or not?
I was out of the country from 23 march to 19 December 2020
If you read the page of the manual linked above, it says that your continuous residence was presumed to be interrupted, but you might be able to overcome this presumption with certain types of evidence. Nobody can tell you whether the officer will determine that you overcame the presumption or not, because it's a subjective determination.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
#6
How can I know if continuous residence was interrupted or not?
I was out of the country from 23 march to 19 December 2020
From the link newacct posted for you - you are presumed to have broken it, you need to decide if you think you have enough evidence to rebut that presumption as detailed below

1. Absence of More than 6 Months (but Less than 1 Year)
An absence of more than 6 months (more than 180 days) but less than 1 year (less than 365 days) during the period for which continuous residence is required (also called “the statutory period”) is presumed to break the continuity of such residence.[12] This includes any absence that takes place during the statutory period before the applicant files the naturalization application and any absence between the filing of the application and the applicant’s admission to citizenship.[13]

An applicant’s intent is not relevant in determining the location of his or her residence. The length of the period of absence from the United States is the defining factor in determining whether the applicant is presumed to have disrupted the continuity of his or her residence.

However, an applicant may overcome the presumption of a break in the continuity of residence by providing evidence to establish that the applicant did not disrupt the continuity of his or her residence. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to, documentation that during the absence:[14]

  • The applicant did not terminate his or her employment in the United States or obtain employment while abroad;
  • The applicant’s immediate family members remained in the United States; and
  • The applicant retained full access to or continued to own or lease a home in the United States.
Eligibility After Break in Residence

An applicant who USCIS determines to have broken the continuity of residence must establish a new period of continuous residence in order to become eligible for naturalization.[15] The requisite duration of that period depends on the basis upon which the applicant seeks to naturalize.[16] In general, such an applicant may become eligible and may apply for naturalization at least 6 months before reaching the end of the pertinent statutory period.[17]

Example

An applicant who is subject to a 5-year statutory period for naturalization is absent from the United States for 8 months, returning on August 1, 2018. The applicant has been absent from the United States for more than 6 months (180 days) but less than 1 year (365 days). As such, the applicant must be able to rebut the presumption of a break in the continuity of residence in order to meet the continuous residence requirement for naturalization.

If the applicant is unable to rebut the presumption, he or she must wait until at least 6 months from reaching the 5-year anniversary of the newly established statutory period following the applicant’s return to the United States. In this example, the newly established statutory period began on August 1, 2018, when the applicant returned to the United States. Therefore, the earliest the applicant may re-apply for naturalization is February 1, 2023, which is at least 6 months from the 5-year anniversary of the pertinent statutory period.[18]
 
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