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Can 4 year 1 day rule eligible people file for US citizenship 3 months before?

Norwalk, CT |

I have been a Permanent Resident for 6 years . I had been out of US for more than 6 months so I am becoming eligible for US citizenship under the 4 year 1 day rule on Aug 17 . My question is should I file for Citizenship on 17 Aug or May 17th (i.e 3 months before I become eligible)

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Attorney answers 1

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Before filing a naturalization application, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney regarding your 6 year absence. Did you have reentry permits during that time? Why were you away from the U.S. for such a long period of time? There is always a risk that USCIS could find an abandonment of status, notwithstanding the fact of continuous physical presence in the U.S. for the last 4 years + 1 day, and begin a removal proceeding, charging the naturalization applicant as having been inadmissible at the time of his or her last entry. In this type of case, facts are important, and a review of the applicable rules is critical. As for the 3 months' filing rule, I would not do it. The USCIS sometimes has problems enough counting days and applying the rules in simple cases. I would not want to provide USCIS with even more potential reasons to deny the application.

Scott D. Pollock
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