Get to know more about residence requirement to be met for US citizenship.

4 year i day residence


Filing for US citizenship and naturalization is dream come true for most of the eligible permanent residents. Those of the green card holders who are above 18 years of age and have been residing in US continuously for 5 years as permanent residents can file N400 application form for US citizenship. The eligibility criteria also includes that applicant should not committed any felony and should have clean records to file N400 form. The physical presence period requirement is only 3 years for the spouse who gets permanent residency after they marry US citizen. After filing you can check online to know citizenship status.

The immigrant may not always meet with the physical presence or continuous residence requirement while filing INS N 400 Form for US citizenship. The reasons for travel outside US could be work, medical reasons, business reasons etc. The permanent residents should have proper papers while away from US. Should have re-entry permits approved so that they can reenter US. Also they could file Form N 470 to preserve residence while traveling outside US for future naturalization benefits. Maintaining residency includes the duty of the green card holder to have the tax paid. If not employed the applicant should have been listed as a dependent in the tax paper of his/her parents.


For those green card holders who need to satisfy the 5 years of permanent residency requirement but had to break it because of long trip outside US for some reason should wait for 4 years and one day before they can apply for US citizenship after their return. The applicant should not have traveled soon after getting permanent residency. The applicant should also return back to the same residence from where he/she left US for a long trip. Before filing for US citizenship, it’s important for the applicant to have continuous residency of 90 days in the same residence prior to filing application. Only such applicants can file 90 days prior to meeting the 5 year physical residence requirement.


For the applicant who should have only 3 years of physical residence prior to applying for US residence but had to break it should wait 2 years and one day to apply after return. If green card was got after marriage to US citizen, the spouse can apply for citizenship after waiting for just three years after becoming a permanent resident. There is a possibility for the stay to be disrupted because of long trip outside US. After returning to US the spouse has to wait for 2 years and a day prior to applying. While the applicant was away from US the applicants immediate family should have remained in the United States to prove intend to return to US.

With proper papers and evidences for the extended absence from US like not having left the job in US, not taking up job while abroad, retaining full access to his or her United States residence etc and also having a reentry permit to reenter US the applicant can support his/her case and be successful in getting the Form N400 approved and go all the way to taking oath and naturalize.

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