We recently received the good news that one of our clients from Irvine, who is currently studying in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was approved for naturalization. There was an issue whether our client, who was a permanent resident, had broken his continuous residency and was barred from naturalization. In general, a naturalization applicant must satisfy USCIS that s/he has maintained continuous residency in the United States during the statutory time period, which is generally five years (three years in some cases).
The naturalization applicant cannot leave the United States for more than six months. An absence of more than six months raises a rebuttable presumption that continuous residency has been broken. USCIS will consider the following factors when deciding whether the applicant has rebutted the presumption: maintaining employment in the US; presence of immediate family in the US; retention of full access to US home; not obtaining employment abroad. Other factors may be considered relevant as well.
If an applicant is absent from the US for over one year, continuous residency is broken. There are certain exemptions including military service abroad, employment abroad and spouses of US citizens working abroad for US companies. There are very specific details regarding these exemptions, and you should contact The Nunez Firm to inquire if they apply to you.
In the present case, we provided USCIS with a legal brief explaining the law and why our client’s absence from the US did not disqualify him from naturalizing. The client advised that the naturalization interview went smoothly and he was very happy that he would soon be taking the oath ceremony to become a naturalized US citizen.
If you are considering the naturalization process, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a free consultation. We handle many naturalization proceedings every year including complex cases involving criminal convictions and routine naturalizations involving clients that want to ensure that everything will go smoothly. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you to discuss the facts involved with your case and whether naturalization is a viable option for you.