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Residency continuity and Reentry Permit

Atlanta, GA |

Hello everyone,

I am planning to leave the US for a period of 2 years after completing permanent residency of 28 months, for personal reasons.

To keep the continuous residency requirement for citizenship, I am planning to return in less than 6 months every time. In case I am not able to come back, I am also planning to get a reentry permit for 2 years.

The questions I have is, does an application for a re-entry permit (form I-131) stop the clock for citizenship, even if I do come back every less than 6 months?

Thanks in advance for your opinion and/or suggestion.

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Attorney answers 4


It doesn't stop the clock, but remember to qualify for naturalization, you must be a permanent resident for five years and you must be physically present in the U.S. for over 50% of the past 5 years.
Please see

Mr. Shusterman's (former INS Trial Attorney, 1976-82) response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


No, it does not stop the clock, the application per se, I mean.

The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter,not should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.


Getting a Reentry Permit does not stop the clock, but remember that physical presence is an issue for naturalization. I suggest that you speak with an immigration lawyer about maintaining your permanent residency as well as the specific requirements for naturalization.

Kenneth Craig Dobson has practiced immigration law for over eight years. Nothing in this response should be considered legal advice. To be clear, no attorney-client relationship is established unless and until a written engagement letter is signed by both parties (attorney and client).


No. The re-entry permit does not stop the clock for citizenship rather, it helps to ensure that your green card/residency is not considered abandoned especially if you stay outside the U.S. for a period of 6 months or more on single trip.