Morristown, NJ asked in Immigration Law for New Jersey

Q: Citizenship application - not enough days present?

I'm a legal permanent resident since last year residing in Buffalo, NY. My job, however is about an hour away in Hamilton, ON (Canada). I cross the border 2 to 3 times a week and sometimes return the same day and other times I stay in Canada for a couple of days as it is a hybrid position (partly remote and partly at the office). My daughter who is a U.S. born citizen also goes to college in Toronto so I get to see her a bit and stay with her. I've done the math and I will be able to be present in the U.S. at least 200 days per year which is a bit more than the minimum required to apply for citizenship after 5 years. I will also be filing taxes each year as required. Question: Is this OK in order to eventually obtain U.S. citizenship or is there a law barring this or can the immigration officer try to deny my citizenship application based on this?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: To apply for U.S. citizenship, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, including a physical presence requirement. Specifically, you must have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the five years immediately preceding your citizenship application.

Based on the information you provided, it sounds like you may meet this physical presence requirement if you are present in the United States for at least 200 days per year, as you mentioned. However, it is important to keep in mind that the immigration officer who reviews your citizenship application will carefully review your travel history and may have questions or concerns about your time spent outside the United States.

Additionally, it is important to note that even if you meet the physical presence requirement, the immigration officer will also consider other factors, such as your good moral character and your ability to speak and read English. If you have any criminal history or other negative factors in your background, this could potentially impact your citizenship application.

It is recommended that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can advise you on your specific situation and help you navigate the citizenship application process. An attorney can help you address any potential issues that may arise during the application process and ensure that you are fully prepared to demonstrate your eligibility for U.S. citizenship.

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