Q: How to fill the schedule in N 400, part 9 question 3 about days outside the US?
I received my GC about 7 years ago, but left the US in December 22, 2013 until October 2, 2014. That is about 9 months. I intend to file N 400 in may, it will be 4 years and 7 months, so my absence from the US during the last 5 years will be less than 6 months (5 months or few days less).
The confusing issue in Part 9 of N 400 naturalization application, the schedule in question 3 because it asks to list trips during the last 5 years and that is fine, but then it asks the date you left the US and the date you came back and if the trip lasted more than 6 months and number of days outside the US.
How do I fill this schedule? Do I put departure date December 22, 2013? If so, I will have to answer "Yes" to the question if the trip lasted more than 6 months, and I will have to count the days for the 9 months and few days and this whole thing will be breaking continuous residence. Or should I bound myself to the last five years and put the date May 2014 and answer "No" and count 5 months?
A: USCIS looks at the travel outside of the US 5 years backwards from the date that you file. Since it is now May, 2019, they would go only back to May 2014. The number of days that you were out of the US from May of 2014 through May of 2019 is what will count against you. (May through October, 2014). If the number of days in that time frame is more than 6 months then you must answer yes to that question. And, yes, being outside of the US for more than 6 months can break continuous physical presence for purposes of gaining citizenship. You may be offered the opportunity to explain your absence and provide documentation that you never intended to give up your green card or US residence, but whether the argument will fly is completely in the discretion of the officer.
Am experienced immigration attorney can help you to determine how best to fill out the form. Best of luck!
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