Asked 4 months ago - Windermere, FLFlag
Oh boy, it really sucks. I got my GC by employment in June'2007 and applied for my Citizenship July'2012 and after interview i got my denial letter today.
Reason provided by USCIS : I stayed outside the country for 265 days , so it was more than 6 months but less than a year. Before leaving US i also got layed off from my employer and had employment in India. While in india - I maintained leased apartment in US, IT consulting business with which i had employees in US, US phone nos. , Credit cards, bank accounts, running payroll of employees biweekly, lots of US calls, filed US taxes for that year .
Myself and my wife both had interviews seprately and while my wife stayed outside US close to 11 months but here Citizenship approved while mine denied.
Can you please provide suggestions?
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Absence of between six month and one year raises a presumption that the continuous residency requirement to become a United States citizen was broken.
However you can rebut this presumption in a request for a hearing on the N400 decision.
You should retain an immigration attorney to help you request a hearing before an immigration officer on the denial of your Form N-400.
An absence from the U.S. in excess of 6 months but less than 1 year presumptively breaks the continuity of your continuous residence. Whether you can rebut the presumption depends on a number of different factors including, but not limited to, the length of the amont of time you were outside the Unted States, the reason for your absence, whether you took up employment abroad, and whether you knew the expected length of your trip prior to departure. If you break the continuity of your residence you can apply for naturalization 4 years and 1 days after resuming your residence in the U.S.
A lot of the things you mention are not relevant to maintaining continuous residence. Additionally, your wife's case is looked at independently from yours. We don't have any facts about your wife's case, however, for example, assuming that she remained outside the U.S. unexpectedly to accompany you, she may have been able to establish that she did not intend to break the continuity of her residence prior to departure. This, of course, is just a hypothectical example.
Your case is a good example of how your could have prepared better had you been represented by counsel. There is much more to immigration than just completing forms. I suggest you consult with an experenced immigration attorney who can review your case to determine the viability of filing an adminstrative appea, refiling (which may be a possibility), or other options.
An absence of 6 months or more, but less than 1 year, creates a "presumption" that you have disrupted the continuity of residence required. You may rebut the presumption with evidence, including, but not limited to, such issues as: U.S. employment, close family members living in U.S., ownership of and access to property you own in the U.S., and absence of employment outside the U.S.
It is unfortunate that your application was denied. I don't know if you were working with an attorney or not.
I suggest that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options, including a possible appeal of the denial.
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