Asked in Immigration Law

Q: Hello, I've been out of the country for 6 months when April begins. I had a few questions concerning.

I’m ready to apply for my citizenship. My green card is valid from 2017 to 2027.

I recently moved to NY to attend college and figured for the last year (9months) I would take school full time/online and move to my parents’ house in Canada. I have to put my dates on how long I have been outside the states. I have a few questions I am concerned about,

- Will being outside the states past 6 months affect my chances getting a citizenship?

- I plan on being outside less than 11 months max is that allowed?

- Do I have to wait to be in the U.S for 5 consecutive years to apply?

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1 Lawyer Answer

Kelli Y Allen

Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Charlotte, NC

A: Consult with an immigration attorney for a full analysis of your case. In general, if an LPR is out of the U.S. for more than 6 months but less than a year, that breaks continuous presence and delays eligibility for naturalization. You would have to wait 4 years and 1 day from the time you get back to the U.S. to apply. You also have to spend more days inside the U.S. than outside the U.S. in the 5 years preceding the application.

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