Should I stay or can I go?
December 13, 2008 8:25 PM   Subscribe

The time spent abroad limitation for US naturalization.

I applied for US citizenship recently. The thing is, I've spent a lot of time outside the States (though never more than 6 months at a time). The total amount is less than 2.5 years out of the 5 since I got my green card which is what the requirement says, short by just a few months.

I had my interview recently and would like to leave the US again. Its been about 5.7 years since my green card. My question is, is the requirement that I spend no more than 2.5 years abroad since receiving my green card, or is it that in the 5 years just prior to receiving citizenship, I must have spent no more than half abroad? Or still another possibility, is it that out of the total time since the green card, I must have spent no more than half abroad? These questions would have different answers for me.

I'm confused. Please help.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
From the statute: "during the five years immediately preceding the date of filing his application has been physically present therein for periods totaling at least half of that time".
posted by holgate at 9:04 PM on December 13, 2008

Note that although one of the N400 app forms suggests you can apply 90 days before the date on which you have been in the country 50% of the five years, this can be a catch. Your application can be refused if you've been in the country less than 32 months in the five previous years. Numbers are from memory but may be wrong - check for yourself, but a friend's application was turned back because they'd been here only 31.5 months.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's tricky and we screwed up despite thinking we'd got it right. So be careful over dates; legal advice could be well worthwhile.
posted by anadem at 10:07 PM on December 13, 2008

Get a respectable immigration attorney to assist you.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:02 AM on December 14, 2008

« Older How do I protect my baby girl?   |   Tabs with No Ads Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.