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Q: Do I qualify for "continuous residence" for applying US citizenship? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Do I qualify for "continuous residence" for applying US citizenship?
Category: Relationships and Society
Asked by: sunshine99-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 19 Nov 2005 02:54 PST
Expires: 19 Dec 2005 02:54 PST
Question ID: 595078
I have hold a green card for more than 15 years. I established my
"physical residence" beginning from Jan 4, 2001. During the year of
Jan-04-2001 to Jan-30-2002, I have five short-trip and my total
abscenses from the States are 187 days and each trip did not exceed 6
or more months. However, if you looked my record from 01/04/01 to
01/04/02, my total days of abscenses from the States are 172 days (one
of my trip started from 10-15-01 to 01-30-02).
  Since after 01/30/02, I only left the States once a year and the
trip lasted for no more than 1 month.
  My question is, can I begin filing my Citizenship application based
on the 01/04/2001 entry date now? Can I qualify the so-called
"continuous residence" requirement? When is the best time I can start
filing such procedure?
Subject: Re: Do I qualify for "continuous residence" for applying US citizenship?
Answered By: hummer-ga on 19 Nov 2005 07:41 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi sunshine99,

The key for you is that none of your trips exceeded 6 months. Given
that fact plus you have been present in the U.S. for at least 30
months in the past 5 years, and assuming you have lived in the same
state for the last 3 months, you should be able to apply today (you
may apply up to 90 days before your continuous residency is
fulfilled). The first thing to do is to fill out the Naturalization
Eligibility Worksheet because there are other requirements to consider
in addition to residency.

Eligibility Worksheet

Naturalization: Becoming a U.S. Citizen
The process of becoming a U.S. citizen is called ?naturalization.? You
can apply for naturalization once you meet the following requirements:
Live in the U.S. for at least 5 years as a permanent resident...
Be present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the past 5 years...
Live within a state or district for at least 3 months before you apply.

N-400, Application for Naturalization

I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please post a
clarification request and wait for me to respond before closing/rating
my answer.

Thank you,

Search Strategy:  I used my own bookmards plus searched using the
terms  "continuous residence" naturalization.

Request for Answer Clarification by sunshine99-ga on 20 Nov 2005 01:56 PST
Hi Hummer:

 Thanks for your answer. Is the requirement of "continuous residence
for more than 6-month in each year during the past five years" been
cancelled? Please correct me if I am wrong. Thank you.

Clarification of Answer by hummer-ga on 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.
sunshine99-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Your answers are very helpful and, efficient. Thanks a lot for your
detailed explainations. I believe you will be very successful in the
immigration law field.

Subject: Re: Do I qualify for "continuous residence" for applying US citizenship?
From: myoarin-ga on 19 Nov 2005 05:30 PST
Here is where the information is:
Subject: Re: Do I qualify for "continuous residence" for applying US citizenship?
From: hummer-ga on 20 Nov 2005 14:24 PST
Thank you, sunshine99, for your kind words and generous tip. That is
very nice of you and I hope the road to naturalization is smooth.

Welcome to GA!

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