Frequent International Traveler? When can you apply for Naturalization?
A frequent discussion that I have with people who want to naturalize as a U.S. Citizen is regarding the exact time they can apply for naturalization, especially if they have frequently traveled internationally since becoming a U.S. Permanent Resident (aka a Green Card holder).
As mentioned in our introduction video on naturalization here, there are nine requirements that must be satisfied in order to naturalize as a U.S. Citizen. Two of those requirements deal with the residency requirements. The residency requirements are straightforward and are found in Section 316 of the Immigration and Nationality Act:
The applicant must have continuously resided in the United States for five years prior to filing your naturalization application (USCIS Form N-400);
The applicant must have been physically present in the United States for half of the five year period prior to filing the naturalization application. In other words, you must have been physically present for 30 months out of 60 months.11
There are two ways to verify the exact number of days you were outside of the U.S. One, refer to the stamps on your Passport, or two, use Customs and Border Protection’s website to obtain your exit/entry record.
There two requirements are required for every applicant, but depending on your situation, the exact time of when you qualify to apply for naturalization, and if you qualify at all, should be examined by an experienced immigration attorney. To schedule a consultation with our attorney please click here.