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Does living outside the USA for 9 months once in 7 years disqualify you for US citizenship?

West Chicago, IL |

My elderly retired parents have been in USA on/off since Oct. 29th 2006 (Green Card issue date). Most of their trips outside the US are during the winter for less than 6 months, but once in 2010/11 they stayed out for nine months due to my grandmother’s illness. Now they are thinking to apply for Naturalization (US Citizenship). Will these 9 months absent from US prevent them to apply for citizenship? Please advice!

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Attorney answers 6


Not by itself.

You should retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts, advise you, and handle the case. You can find one through

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


She might have broken her continuous residence ... unless you have GREAT documentation of this illness and how the had to re-book their plane tickets, etc.

Talk to an attorney.

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. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


Presumptively, a trip outside the U.S in excess of 6 months breaks the continuity of one's residence. Thus, the burden would be on your parents to establish that they did not break the continuity of their residence. This is done on a case by case basis depending on the facts. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can review the and recommend the best way to proceed.

While this answer is provided by a Florida Bar Certified Expert in Immigration and Nationality Law, it is for general information purposes only and an attorney/client relationship is neither intended nor created. You should seek out qualified counsel to review your case and provide you with advice specific to your situation. Call +1-561-478-5353 to schedule a consultation with Mr. Devore.


It could. They will have to make an argument, and let USCIS decide.

The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.


9 months outside the US could definitely pose a problem for the citizenship application. It is best to consult an immigration attorney.

Alexus P. Sham (917) 498-9009. The above information is only general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Continuous residence may have been broken. You need to make a good argument to avoid this with proof of the mom's illness. Best to hire an immigration attorney to assist you.

This advice does not form an attorney-client relationship and is merely informative. It should not by itself be relied upon to address a legal concern.

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