Temporary employment overseas - FEIE/FTC and its effects on naturalization, continuous residence

Curious1234

New Member
Hi guys,

I'm currently eyeing a two year out of country job assignment (been LPR for three years already).

Looking through the forum, the most points were relatively straightforward (visiting US every 6 months or less, keeping ties to the country) - however, I'm uncertain of how the tax choices regarding the double taxation (assuming one still files 1040 as a resident) are affecting the process.
In particular, does applying for foreign earned income exclusion, FEIE (as opposed to foreign tax credit, FTC) decrease the chances for naturalization after return significantly, or are they low regardless?

The plan is to apply for FEIE based on physical presence (330+ days out of US), briefly covered here:
fosterglobal. com/blog/the-taxman-cometh-when-taking-a-foreign-earned-income-exclusion-on-your-tax-return-can-hurt-your-ability-to-naturalize/
- I see arguments for both points of view, and wonder if someone knows of any practical cases.
 
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SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Hi guys,

I'm currently eyeing a two year out of country job assignment (been LPR for three years already).

Looking through the forum, the most points were relatively straightforward (visiting US every 6 months or less, keeping ties to the country) - however, I'm uncertain of how the tax choices regarding the double taxation (assuming one still files 1040 as a resident) are affecting the process.
In particular, does applying for foreign earned income exclusion, FEIE (as opposed to foreign tax credit, FTC) decrease the chances for naturalization after return significantly, or are they low regardless?

The plan is to apply for FEIE based on physical presence (330+ days out of US), briefly covered here:
fosterglobal. com/blog/the-taxman-cometh-when-taking-a-foreign-earned-income-exclusion-on-your-tax-return-can-hurt-your-ability-to-naturalize/
- I see arguments for both points of view, and wonder if someone knows of any practical cases.
We applied FEIE our first year as LPRs (spent most of it outside the US) and it didn’t even come up as a question in the N400 interviews for either myself or my spouse. If I were you I’d be more worried about the touching down every 6 months being accepted for continuous residence over the span of two years. Is your employer a US employer sending you overseas for a couple of years?
 

Curious1234

New Member
We applied FEIE our first year as LPRs (spent most of it outside the US) and it didn’t even come up as a question in the N400 interviews for either myself or my spouse. If I were you I’d be more worried about the touching down every 6 months being accepted for continuous residence over the span of two years. Is your employer a US employer sending you overseas for a couple of years?
Ok, thank you - sounds like the best option is that the question doesn't come up at the interview lol

Reading more on the subject, I feel getting more into catch-22 scenario:
For touching down (or spending couple of weeks at a time, not sure it that makes a difference) to be relevant, I'd have to prove my abode is still in US (bank accounts, postal address/utility bills, paying taxes as resident) <-> same time FEIE assumes your tax home is outside of US, which a bit of grey area immigration-wise. So it seems there would be some risk in either case, either tax or immigration, where the bad outcome is waiting four extra years and worse one is losing LPR altogether.

For the US employer, they are - would I need to request any specific forms from them to prove it?
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Ok, thank you - sounds like the best option is that the question doesn't come up at the interview lol

Reading more on the subject, I feel getting more into catch-22 scenario:
For touching down (or spending couple of weeks at a time, not sure it that makes a difference) to be relevant, I'd have to prove my abode is still in US (bank accounts, postal address/utility bills, paying taxes as resident) <-> same time FEIE assumes your tax home is outside of US, which a bit of grey area immigration-wise. So it seems there would be some risk in either case, either tax or immigration, where the bad outcome is waiting four extra years and worse one is losing LPR altogether.

For the US employer, they are - would I need to request any specific forms from them to prove it?
It might be easier to prove you’ve kept US ties if it is a local US employer that is sending you abroad for a fixed term and then you return to work for them here, that’s why I asked.

Will you be keeping a home that only you can access here? Postal adddess, bank accounts, even property can be held by anyone living anywhere, all the bits help but imo those are not sufficient to prove did not break ties. (Filing taxes as a resident is a given, if you don’t you are essentially abandoning your green card (and that is a specific question on the n400).)

The parts of the manual that concern me in a case like yours are “Accordingly, the applicant’s residence is generally the applicant’s actual physical location regardless of his or her intentions to claim it as his or her residence…. An officer may also review whether an applicant with multiple absences of less than 6 months each will be able to satisfy the continuous residence requirement. In some of these cases, an applicant may not be able to establish that his or her principal actual dwelling place is in the United States or establish residence within the United States for the statutorily required period of time”

If you are worried about losing LPR entirely - you may want to file for a re-entry permit as a backup.
 

Curious1234

New Member
Ok, understood, thanks!

I'm on a lease with my gf (going alone due to a different nature of the jobs), so I guess that's a no for "only I can access"-part.

Well, the multiple absences part is a calculated risk - I guess one can only weight pros and cons for moving abroad temporarily, collect as many "bits" of presence as possible, and throw a Hail Mary. Naturally, if waiting four more years in case CR is considered broken wasn't an option, the answer would be different.

Less worried about losing LPR on the border (assuming reentry permit works mainly for this part), and more about being revoked due to filling for FEIE - seems like the chances are low, but never zero ;)
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Lease with gf is probably ok (assuming she stays your gf all the way)- what I meant was, it’s not like you own an apartment that you’re renting out while you’re away, or that you have a couch or a guest room in a relative’s house as your address

Re-entry permit shows that you did not intend to abandon residence despite extended or numerous absences, it is not just about “the border”.
 

whitemimauz3

Registered Users (C)
@Curious1234 For you to claim exception from continuous residence in US, you need to be deputed by US govt or its contractors, US institution of research, intl pub org, US charitable org. Working for private sector US employer outside US is not OK to claim exception.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
I don’t believe he is trying to claim exception, he is trying to circumvent losing CR by touching down every 6 months.
 
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