What are the requirements for a permanent resident to become U.S. citizen if working abroad for Department of State?

Asked over 2 years ago - Washington, DC

Hello, I am a permanent resident since 2009. I am working in the U.S. Embassy in my birth country and every year i am visiting US in order to keep my "Green Card" active. As i have heard i can aply for citizenship if i have at least one year (out of 5) phisical presence in US and 5 years as permanent resident.

Is this mean that if i take one year unpaid leave with my current employeer and live for a year in the US, i can aplly for citizenship?

Also, do i need to continue working for the US government after the year i worked in US for private company in order to be eligeble for applying for US citizenship?

Thank you!

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Janice Ann Flynn

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your main issue is whether you've abandoned your permanent residency. If you haven't applied for a re-entry permit, just returning to the US periodically is not sufficient to avoid a finding of abandonment. What's important is your intent on whether you intend to return to the US. This wouuld depend on a lot of facts. Working for the US government on temporary assignment may proove that you intend to return to the US eventually.

    If you received your green card through your US citizenship spouse you may be eligible for expeditious naturlization but more facts would be need to establish if this is a possibility for you. You should contact an American immigration attorney to review your case.

    Please note that by answering this question an attorney client relationship is not created. My answer is general... more
  2. Neil Ian Fleischer

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with Ms Flynn again.

    Section 316 paragraphs (b), (c), and (f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows for certain exceptions to the continuous residence requirement for those applicants working abroad for:

    The United States government, including the Military
    Contractors of the United States government
    A recognized American institution of research (List of Recognized American Institutions of Research and Other Recognized Organizations)
    A public international organization
    An organization designated under the International Immunities Act

    Neil I Fleischer (513) 977-4209 www.immigrate2usa.com Note: Neil Fleischer is an attorney licensed in the State... more
  3. Gen Kimura

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with my colleague.

    This answer is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as final, nor is it intended as legal advice.... more

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