U.S. citizens are afforded many benefits and rights, so it isn’t
uncommon for lawful
permanent residents to strive to obtain citizenship. If you are considering applying for citizenship,
you should be aware that your travel plans may affect your eligibility
There are two requirements for a lawful permanent resident to be eligible
for naturalization. These requirements are physical presence and continuous
residence in the U.S. You must be able to demonstrate that you have maintained
residency in the U.S. for five years immediately prior to the date of
application and that you have maintained 30 cumulative months of physical
presence in the U.S. during those 5 years. If you have more than 6 months
spent outside the U.S. during this time, it is possible that you may lose
your eligibility for citizenship.
Continuous residency means that you must maintain a residence in the U.S.,
even if you are traveling out of the country for a period of time. For
trips lasting less than 6 months, it is unlikely that you will become
ineligible for citizenship. If your trip lasts longer than 6 months, it
is possible that you may be considered to have abandoned your status as
a permanent resident.
Other factors, such as your family remaining in the states, keeping your
job in the U.S., and maintaining control of your residence may be used
to support you if there is a question regarding your eligibility for naturalization.
If you have left the country for a period of more than a year, you will
be ineligible for citizenship until enough time has passed that your trip
isn’t counted in your previous 5 years of residency.
Physical presence requires you to be physically in the country for 30 months
during the 5 years of continuous residency. You are able to travel outside
the country for up to 6 months, but doing so often is likely to keep you
from spending the necessary amount of time physically present in the country.
If you work abroad for an American institution or company, you may be
able to still receive citizenship, despite rarely being in the country.
An experienced immigration law attorney can help you apply for citizenship
and can help you prove that you are unable to be physically present in
the U.S. due to your employment.
Our skilled Philadelphia
immigration attorney can help you navigate the process of naturalization. At the
Law Office of Matthew Archambeault, we have a dedicated team who can help you gain your citizenship in an
efficient and caring manner.
Contact our firm to request a