Orange, CA asked in Immigration Law for California

Q: Considering to apply for naturalization in Jan 2021 as per my 4 years and 2 days continuous residency eligibility?

- I moved to US on Dec 29, 2016 but then went back to India on Jan 15, 2017 for 5 months 15 days as my grandmother expired and then came back on June 30, 2017 to US.

- After coming back I have stayed here and doing a job since August 1, 2017 and have all taxes filed without any gap and no criminal record.

- I took 9 trips more outside US after June 30, 2017 which are as follows:

Jan 22, 2018 -- Feb 4, 2018 (12 days, Grandfather was critical and admitted in ICU)

March 15, 2018 - March 25, 2018 (9 Days, India)

May 31, 2018 - June 6, 2018 (5 days to Toronto)

Nov 20, 2018 - Nov 25, 2018 (5 days, India)

Dec 16, 2018 - Dec 18, 2018 (2 days, India)

Dec 20, 2018 - Jan 5, 2019 ( 14 days, India)

March 20, 2019 - March 29, 2019 (8 days, India)

Sep 16, 2019 - Sep 24, 2019 (7 days, India)

I do not have any plan going to visit India now until Jan 2021

- Will I be eligible to apply for Naturalization after Jan 2, 2021 as per 4 years 1 day eligibility for continuous residence?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL

A: You misunderstand that law. You must be physically present for a continuous physical period at least 4 years, without significant disruptions. However, if you are NOT married to a U.S. citizen, you must have been granted lawful permanent resident status at least five years before attending a ceremony.

Therefore, Congress will allow you to file within ninety days of the five year anniversary, but no sooner. Otherwise, you should be denied naturalization.

Note that there may be other complications that can disqualify you, perhaps, lead not only to denial but also rescission or deportation. Many grounds of deportation don’t require a criminal conviction. As a result, I strongly recommend an appointment with a competent and experienced immigration attorney before there are any complications. Good luck.

The above is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

Adan Vega
Adan Vega
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Houston, TX

A: If you were issued lawful permanent resident status on December 29, 2016, you can not apply for naturalization on January 2, 2021 unless you are eligible for an exemption of the 4 years and 9 months filing requirement.

I highly recommend that you visit with an experienced immigration attorney before you decide to submit the FORM N-400.

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