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Physical and continuous residency question N-400 form

Cleveland, OH |

will several trips within one year outside the US that last more than 90 days but less than 180 days affect my application? For example, Leaving US 01.03-03.30 taking another trip 04.03-05.03 than another trip 05.15-08.14 and a few more from 08.24-11.30 and 12.05-12.27.
We live with my in-laws have US bank accounts but have been traveling a lot this past year. In 2009 I was outside the US for 12 days in 2010 for 14 and in 2011 for 31 days. I did not file N-400 after three years. It has been four years since I got my green card and want to file now. Will this past year affect my application?

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Attorney answers 5


You can still file, provided you have accumulated 50 percent of continuous presence, which is in your case one year and six months

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


So long as you have been in the US for more than half the time prior to filing your N-400 you will be fine. If not, you need to wait until you have achieved more than half the time.



Ok, so in 2009 I was in the US for a total of 11 months and 19 days ( 12 days outside the US) 2010 a total of 11 months and 16 days ( 15 days outside the US) 2011 total of 11 months ( 31 days outside the US) However in 2012 my husband and I have traveled a lot ( each trip less than 180 days) and we were a total of only 32 days in the US.

Evelyne M Hart

Evelyne M Hart


Either way, if you are filing based on marriage (3 years), or regular (5 years), you do meet the physical presence requirement.


Despite the frequent short trips, if you meet the continuous residence and physical presence requirement you are good to file.

This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. If you would like additional information based on this response, please contact my office at 510 657 7665 or 415 902 0832 to schedule a consultation.


Trips that do not exceed six months do not themselves cause issues with the naturalization filing. The aggregate amount of time you've been outside the U.S. in comparison to when you became an LPR and when you're filing for citizenship will be analyzed. You must be physically present in the U.S. for at least half the time. Your best avenue is to retain counsel to review your trips and make the determination, advise you for future trips while the application is pending and to attend the examination itself with you.


There are several physical presence and residence requirements for US citizenship
1. 1/2 half plus one day of the time of statutory period mus be spent in the US
2. no absences over one year
3. absence over six months are a presumption that you abandoned residence
4. 90 days in the jurisdiction of the immigration office having jurisdiction over the place of your application prior to filing


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