People seeking citizenship must meet a raft of requirements. One of these is to live in the United States continuously for at least five years as a green card holder
People seeking citizenship must meet a raft of requirements. One of these is to live in the United States continuously for at least five years as a green card holder. In certain cases, a long, employment-related period outside the United States may not jeopardize your citizenship application.
You should have been present in the country for at least 30 months of those five years – or at least 18 months when the applicant is married to a U.S citizen.
If you are a green card holder who leaves the country for “certain employment purposes” for a year or longer you may not harm your citizenship application if you complete Form N-470.
The term “certain employment purposes” is vague but the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides definitions. Your immigration lawyer can also tell you if you are eligible to preserve residence by submitting N-470.
USCIS lists “certain employment services” as the following but the list is not exhaustive. It includes:
- Working for the U.S, government.
- Working for an entity that USCIS recognizes as an American institution of research. USCIS provides a list of universities and other schools.
- A U.S. firm, a corporation, or a subsidiary is involved in expanding the nation’s commerce and foreign trade.
- A U.S. company involved in the protection of the United States’ property rights abroad.
- An international public organization that the U.S. is a member of under statute or treaty.
- A mission or a denomination that boasts a bona fide organization within the United States. The permanent resident should be a religious worker.
You may file N-470 if you have lived for at least a year in the United States as a permanent resident without interruption. Fill in N-470 if you know you will be out of the country for at least a year.
You do not have to file N-470 from within the United States, but you must file it before you have been out of the country for a continuous year. The filing fee for N-470 is $355.
Your Virginia Beach immigration lawyer can tell you if you need to file N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes, and whether you meet the employment criteria.
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