Can I File my Citizenship if I Have Been Living outside of the US?

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One of the most important requirements of naturalization or U.S. citizenship is to demonstrate that you have been physically present and continuously present in the 5 years immediately preceding your application. What that means, is that out of the last 5 years, you have been physically present for 2 ½ years and you have also been continuously present. If you’ve been out of the United States for more than a year and your continuous presence is broken, then you are not going to be eligible for citizenship. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had your green card for 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years. Once you interrupt that continuous presence within the immediately preceding 5 years, then you are not going to be eligible for citizenship. You’re going to have to re-accumulate that time once you come back into the United States and then demonstrate that you’ve been continuously present and physically present in order to be eligible for citizenship. If you have issues or questions relating to whether or not you’re eligible for citizenship based on your time spent abroad, please contact my office and I would be happy to discuss your situation with you.

Cheryl R. David is an experienced immigration attorney working in New York City. Please contact us for your free initial consultation.