Aware of residence based rules to file US citizenship application?


In order to apply for US citizenship apart from the 18 years of age requirement and need for clean records to apply, the most priority eligibility is decided based on the physical residence period/ In United States after a person becomes a permanent resident should reside continuously for a minimum 5 years prior to applying for US citizenship. Also applicant filing US citizenship application must have resided at least 3 months prior to applying in the particular state or district of service which has jurisdiction over that residence.

Residence Requirement 

For at least half the time of the continuous residence requirement the applicant must have in general physically resided in the United States, even if applying for American citizenship online. For applicants who must prove physical presence for half of the 5 years requirement in order to be able to file INS N 400 form under INA 316(a) must have at least resided in US prior to filing citizenship application for 913 days or 30 months minimum.

The number of days the applicant as permanent resident has been physically present in US during the legal period prior to the date the N400 application for naturalization is filed is referred to as physical presence. Both the physical presence and continuous residence requirements though are interconnected should be satisfied separately.

For naturalization purposes in case applicant leaves US for a long abroad trip the day he/she departs and the day of return are counted as physical presence within United States by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Evidences and documents

For US citizenship application purposes just the ownership of a permanent resident card or green card during the physical presence requirement period of time is not sufficient to prove the applicant’s physical presence. Through the help of documents the applicants must prove physical presence in the United States. All the appropriate records will be reviewed by USCIS in order for them to ascertain if the physical presence requirement is met by the applicant.

Whether the applicant has met the physical presence requirement will also be decided based on the statement the applicant gives to the USCIS. Most importantly the applicant must have a valid permanent resident card which has not expired too. In order to file application for US citizenship the applicant should see to that the green card has at least a year’s validity period still left.

In case the permanent resident card would expire in the next 6 months after US naturalization form is filed its best to renew the green card by filing Form I-90. The applicant must have close immediate family members staying in the residence location listed on the form while away abroad. The parents must have listed the daughter or son in their tax submission forms as a dependent also while the permanent resident was away from US. Also it’s important for the green card holder to have not earned anything as salary aboard or done any job outside US during the time she or he was away. If the stay outside US is exceeding 6 months then applicant should have taken along the reentry permit approved prior to departing from US.

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