What does the 3 month state residency requirement for naturalization mean?

Asked over 3 years ago - Hempstead, NY

If a person had had a green card for more than 15 years and intends to file for naturalization after returning from a trip abroad of less than 6 months do they need to wait 90 days or can they apply right away? Is a continuous in-state physical presence of 90 days what is meant by the requirement? All other eligibility requirements have been met and this individual will be applying under the five year rule.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Craig Randall Shagin


    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . There is a requirement that the alien have resided for at least three months in the state where the application is filed—INA §§316(a)(1), 319(a), 8 U.S.C. §§1427(a)(1), 1430(a). Residence is defined at INA §101(a)(33), 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(33).This is three months prior to "filing" hence yes I would wait before filing. Note that it typically takes more than three months for an N-400 to be processed - -but the clock is timed from the filing. There are exceptions for military, INA section 329; persons making extraordinary contribution to national security Section 316 (f)and persons performing religious duties (INA Sec 317).

  2. Jeffrey Adam Devore


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . "Residence" in this case refers to your domicile. That is, you must have been permanently residing in the state where you reside for 3 months prior to filing your application for naturalization. A brief, casusal and innocent trip abroad does not interrupt your residence for this purpose.

Avvo instant logo@2x

Need an answer to your questions within 15 minutes?

  • 30-minute phone call
  • Ask any questions
  • $99 flat fee
  • Money-back guarantee
Talk to an attorney now

Can't find what you're looking for?

Ask span5@2x

Ask a question on our public forum.

Ask a lawyer
Instant span6@2x

Have an attorney contact you privately.

Right now.

Icon lock@2x
Secure conversation. Your details remain between you and your attorney.
Icon clock@2x
Get an answer guaranteed. Be assured that a lawyer will contact you to help with your legal issue.
Start your session now