Clarification of Answer by
20 Nov 2005 07:29 PST
Good morning, sunshine99,
The required amount of time you need to spend in the U.S. is confusing
and I'll try my best to explain it. I'm not aware that this is a
change in policy.
The two requirements that you are concerned with are:
1. Physical Presence
You must be physically present in the U.S. for 30 months (913 days)
within the 5 year period.
2. Continuous Residence
You cannot be outside of the U.S. for more than 6 months at one time.
Your brother lives in Canada and you visit him every weekend (2 days)
during the 5 years.
1. Physical Presence
2 days x 52 weeks = 104 days per year x 5 years = 520 days (18 months) out of U.S.
60 months (5 years) - 18 months = 42 months in the U.S.
You pass this test because you were in the States for more 30 months
in the 5 year period.
2. Continuous Presence
You pass this test because you were never out of the U.S. for more
than 6 months at one time.
Q: What is the difference between ?physical presence? and ?continuous residence??
A: ?Physical presence? is the total days you were inside the United
States and does not include the time you spend outside the U.S. Each
day you spend outside the U.S. takes away from your "physical
presence" total. If you are away from the U.S. for long periods of
time or if you take many short trips outside the U.S., you may not
meet your ?physical presence? requirement. To count your ?physical
presence? time, you should add together all the time you have been in
the United States. Then subtract all trips you have taken outside the
United States. This includes short trips to Canada and Mexico. For
example, if you go to Mexico for a weekend, you must include the trip
when counting how many days you spent out of the country.
?Continuous residence? is the total time you have resided as a
permanent resident in the United States before applying for
naturalization. If you spend too much time outside the United States
during a single trip, you may break your ?continuous residence.?
Requirements For Naturalization
"Physically present in the U.S. for 1/2 of the five years... You must
actually be in the U.S. for 913 days... during the five year period
"Absences from the U.S. of less than 6 months shall not break the continuity."
So, what counts is whether or not you left the U.S. for more than 6
months at one time, not whether or not you were in the U.S.
continuously for 6 months. You stated, "each trip did not exceed 6 or
more months", so you are ok there. The next thing to do is to count
how many months in the 5 years you were outside the U.S. From what
you have said, it sounds like you are well within your limit of 30
months (around 10 months?). If all is well on the Eligibility
Worksheet, you can send in your application immediately (let me know
so I can share in your celebration!).
I hope that's clearer but if you still are not sure, please do not
hesitate to get back in touch.