Does living outside the USA for 9 months once in 7 years disqualify you for US citizenship?

Asked about 1 year ago - West Chicago, IL

My elderly retired parents have been in USA on/off since Oct. 29th 2006 (Green Card issue date). Most of their trips outside the US are during the winter for less than 6 months, but once in 2010/11 they stayed out for nine months due to my grandmother’s illness. Now they are thinking to apply for Naturalization (US Citizenship). Will these 9 months absent from US prevent them to apply for citizenship? Please advice!

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Stephen D. Berman

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . It could. They will have to make an argument, and let USCIS decide.

    The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an... more
  2. J Charles Ferrari

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Not by itself.

    You should retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts, advise you, and handle the case. You can find one through http://www.ailalawyer.com.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not... more
  3. F. J. Capriotti III

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . She might have broken her continuous residence ... unless you have GREAT documentation of this illness and how the had to re-book their plane tickets, etc.

    Talk to an attorney.

    PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- franco@capriotti.com -- www.capriotti.com -- This blog posting... more
  4. Jeffrey Adam Devore

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Presumptively, a trip outside the U.S in excess of 6 months breaks the continuity of one's residence. Thus, the burden would be on your parents to establish that they did not break the continuity of their residence. This is done on a case by case basis depending on the facts. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can review the and recommend the best way to proceed.

    While this answer is provided by a Florida Bar Certified Expert in Immigration and Nationality Law, it is for... more
  5. Alexus Paul Sham

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . 9 months outside the US could definitely pose a problem for the citizenship application. It is best to consult an immigration attorney.

    Alexus P. Sham alexuspshamesq@gmail.com (917) 498-9009. The above information is only general in nature and does... more
  6. Gunda Johanna Brost

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . Continuous residence may have been broken. You need to make a good argument to avoid this with proof of the mom's illness. Best to hire an immigration attorney to assist you.

    This advice does not form an attorney-client relationship and is merely informative. It should not by itself be... more

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