travel outside the U.S. after submitting N-400 application

VitaminB12

New Member
Hi everyone, my wife is close to submitting her N-400 application, but we have travel coming up soon after. I'm wondering if there will be a problem because the travel history section of the N-400 application will be out of date by the time she gets in for an interview. Should she bring some extra paperwork to the interview showing the trip that happened after the N-400 application?
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
No problem as long as the trip doesn’t break continuous residence or put her outside the physical presence requirements. Yes, she can bring details of that and any other changes between submission and interview, and the interviewing officer will update the application as necessary.
 

VitaminB12

New Member
Great, thanks. Also, do you know if they generally adhere strictly to the continuous residence and physical presence requirements, or will they deny people's application sometimes even if the person has fulfilled those requirements? My wife has spent 100 days outside the U.S. during the past 3 years, so she's well within the physical presence limit (about 547 days), and no trip has or will be longer than 6 months.

Nevertheless, we're wondering if we should be extra careful and postpone any travel outside the U.S. that might last 1-3 months, just in case they don't like to see multiple trips like that outside the country.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Great, thanks. Also, do you know if they generally adhere strictly to the continuous residence and physical presence requirements, or will they deny people's application sometimes even if the person has fulfilled those requirements? My wife has spent 100 days outside the U.S. during the past 3 years, so she's well within the physical presence limit (about 547 days), and no trip has or will be longer than 6 months.

Nevertheless, we're wondering if we should be extra careful and postpone any travel outside the U.S. that might last 1-3 months, just in case they don't like to see multiple trips like that outside the country.
The multiple trips would have to be so frequent that they suspected the person was not actually really residing in the US before it became an issue. One trip of 1-3 months doesn’t sound like an issue. If it was for example multiple trips of 3 months with just a couple of weeks in the US between them, that could be a problem. It can take many months between submission and interview, you’re not expected to put your life on hold waiting for uscis to process the application.
 

VitaminB12

New Member
Ok, that probably wouldn't be a problem. We did have a 3-4 month trip out of the U.S. about a year ago where we had to pop back to the U.S. for 1 week only (and then go back out of the country) in early March due to a biometrics appointment that USCIS wouldn't reschedule, but that seems pretty easy to explain.

We just were a little worried that if they see a long-ish trip like that about a year ago and then a long-ish trip again, they might not like it even though they're separated by a year. Our main reason is that covid stopped all travel for a long time, and we're making up for lost time seeing family outside the U.S.
 

jfb31

New Member
It’s my understanding that in calculating physical presence you start with the date you plan to submit the N400 application and work backwards either 3 or 5 years depending on applicants classification. If you’re over 548 days out of US for the 3 year you need to wait until you’re under 548 before submitting.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
It’s my understanding that in calculating physical presence you start with the date you plan to submit the N400 application and work backwards either 3 or 5 years depending on applicants classification. If you’re over 548 days out of US for the 3 year you need to wait until you’re under 548 before submitting.
Physical presence basically works out to being just over the half the time in the US. So, an absence of a quarter to a third of each year is not going to be a problem.

The easiest way to figure it though is to use the online N400 application. Once you’ve entered your absences it calculates the days and flags any potential issues with either physical presence or continuous residence.
 

jfb31

New Member
It’s also my understanding that once you submit the N 400, the physical presence days should be locked in so trips outside the US should not count against the the days outside US. If anyone knows different please sound off.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
It’s also my understanding that once you submit the N 400, the physical presence days should be locked in so trips outside the US should not count against the the days outside US. If anyone knows different please sound off.
The wording of the statute supports that conclusion as regards the physical presence requirement, however note that the continuous residence requirements apply all the way up to date of taking the oath.
 

jfb31

New Member
SusieQQQ: Thanks for the confirmation. No worries on the continuous residence. At the end of the day it seems safer to take a short trip (3-4 weeks) outside USA immediately AFTER submitting N400 (biometrics assumed completed). And then keeping a sharp lookout for interview date on USCIS website while overseas.

A similar trip BEFORE N400 submittal would add days outside USA to the calculation while a short trip (3-4 weeks) AFTER seemingly has no effect on days outside USA calculation.

Apologies for pretzeling this thread up, just want to be sure.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
SusieQQQ: Thanks for the confirmation. No worries on the continuous residence. At the end of the day it seems safer to take a short trip (3-4 weeks) outside USA immediately AFTER submitting N400 (biometrics assumed completed). And then keeping a sharp lookout for interview date on USCIS website while overseas.

A similar trip BEFORE N400 submittal would add days outside USA to the calculation while a short trip (3-4 weeks) AFTER seemingly has no effect on days outside USA calculation.

Apologies for pretzeling this thread up, just want to be sure.
The timing only matters if you’re borderline and if puts you out.
What is your field office? 3-4 weeks would be remarkably quick to have an interview scheduled.
 

jfb31

New Member
My filed office is Orlando. I was just using 3-4 weeks as an example.

FYI: I submitted my wife's N400 on 19 Jul 2022, got the interview notice on 11 Oct for a 17 Nov interview. Unfortunately I miscalculated days out of USA (by only 4 days) and now she has to start over again.
 
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