Preserve residence for naturalization using US citizenship application.


For the employment they are qualified for certain permanent residents can seek to preserve their residence during their period of absence in US which might be for a period of one year or more. This helps them later with the physical presence requirement while filing US citizenship application. The application to preserve residence for naturalization purposes, Form N-470 should be filed in this case in accord with the form directions.

Only applicants who meet the following eligibility requirements can qualify:

  • Only after a year’s time of physical presence in US as a permanent resident without any interruptions or break the applicant can apply for this before starting work abroad.
  • The residence preservation application can be filed either after or before the applicant starts work abroad but must be completed within the duration of one year of that work outside US and before continuous stay of a year abroad is completed by applicant.
  • With the U.S. Government or an American institution of research the applicant should be working on a regular or contract basis and that concern or employer should be recognized as such by the Attorney General.
  • With an American firm or corporation engaged in the development of U.S. foreign trade and commerce the applicant should be employed. Also with a subsidiary thereof if more than 50 percent of its stock is owned by an American firm or corporation the applicant can work under.
  • Also applicant who must have become a lawful permanent resident and then be employed by a public international organization can apply Form N-470. The organization should be one of which the United States is a member by a treaty or statute.

Such benefits can be enjoyed by the applicant’s spouse and dependent unmarried sons and daughters as dependent members of the principal applicant’s household during the period when they were residing outside United States. The applicant and any dependent family members who were also granted the benefit would be also listed in the application’s approval notice. But applicant and those of his/her dependent family members are not given any exemption from thephysical presence requirement for US citizenship even after the residence preservation application is approved. But applicants who is an employee of US government on a regular or contract basis is relieved from the requirement of physical presence.

The approval of the application to preserve residence additionally does not give a guarantee of the applicant and their dependent family members of not lose lawful permanent resident status through abandonment after their return to US. An applicant who claimed special tax exemptions and benefits posing as a nonresident alien could lose LPR status through abandonment in case USCIS gets to know about that. With acceptable proof and evidences the applicant may prove that he or she did not abandon his or her LPR status and establish his/her status.

A reentry permit or any acceptable document the applicant as a Lawful permanent resident should show while returning to United States even if the application to preserve residence is approved. Generally only if the time period of absence from US is less than a year the PRC card is acceptable as a travel document for the applicant. In case the permanent resident expects to stay outside US for more than a year along with the green card a reentry permit should have been applied for and got approved before leaving US initially. The reentry permit has a validity of two years and the applicant can use it on his/her return to US.

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