To be eligible for naturalization, you must demonstrate that you resided continuously in the U.S. for five years before applying (3 years for spouses), and that you were physically present in the U.S. for thirty months within the five year period before applying. This is a very intricate and fact-specific matter.
You may have been physically outside of the US for a period but still maintained continuous residence. I suggest you meet with an immigration attorney to look at all the dates to make sure you are eligible. Good luck.
This information is intended as general information only. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship between me and the asker.
By regulation, any absence of more than six months, but less than a year, will be presumed to have disrupted the continuity of your residence. This presumption can be challenged, and possibly overcome, with a showing that you actually resided in the U.S. during that time period, with evidence such as leases and mortagages in the U.S., jobs in the U.S., taxes and bank accounts in the U.S., family members in the U.S., etc., and the concomitant absence of those things in the foreign country.
My colleague is correct, an absence of more than 6 months (182-1/2 days) can be a 'break' in your continuous residence .. unless you did some special things.
Meet with an attorney before you file.
PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
As you can see from the previous responses, naturalization eligibility details often are not "black-and-white," but instead call for professional judgment based upon full assessment of all relevant factors and evidence. There are some absences of 11 months that may destroy or delay naturalization eligibility (and may present even more harsh consequences) and others that will not stand in the way of eligibility. There is no substitute for engaging an immigration attorney to carefully review the facts and analyze eligibility.
David N. Soloway
1800 Century Place, Suite100, Atlanta GA. 30345
[Note: Consistent with Avvo policy, this communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.] David N. Soloway Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C. 1800 Century Place, Suite 100 Atlanta, Georgia 30345 www.fspklaw.com 404-320-7000 * 1-877-232-5352 * firstname.lastname@example.org