I am a UK Citizen, though I have held a Green Card and been a permanent resident of the US since 2013, current Green Card expires 2023.

I am currently looking at applying for citizenship through form N-400. The only sticking point that is stopping me from doing it right now, rather than waiting until 2021, is the continuous residence requirement.

I have lived, gone to school, worked, and filed taxes in the US since 2009. However, in 2016 I took a short contract in the UK which had me leave the country 05/09/2016 and return 11/06/2016.

This means I did work and pay tax on my income in the UK for that period. Also the period is exactly 181 days.

Chapter 3 - Continuous Residence of the USCIS policy manual states:

Absence of More than Six Months (but Less than One Year)

An absence of more than six months [more than 181 days but less than one year (less than 365 days)] during the period for which continuous residence is required is presumed to break the continuity of such residence. This includes any absence that takes place prior to filing the naturalization application or between filing and the applicant’s admission to citizenship.

An applicant’s intent is not relevant in determining the location of his or her residence. The period of absence from the United States is the defining factor in determining whether the applicant is presumed to have disrupted his or her residence.

An applicant may overcome the presumption of loss of his or her continuity of residence by providing evidence to establish that the applicant did not disrupt his or her residence. The evidence may include, but is not limited to, documentation that during the absence:

  • The applicant did not terminate his or her employment in the United States or obtain employment while abroad.
  • The applicant’s immediate family remained in the United States.
  • The applicant retained full access to his or her United States abode.

The thing is, if I was on US soil on 05/09/2016 and back on US soil by 11/06/2018 which is exactly 181 days, do I have to worry about not meeting the continuous residency requirement for an absence that is exactly 181 days and not more than 181 days?

  • 1
    Do you understand the bit about "presumption"? Being away for more than 181 days doesn't disqualify you automatically. – phoog Dec 28 '19 at 0:57
  • I know that, but I just need to reduce the amount of potential issues that could arise. Also, I cannot supply the evidence they need to counter it as I went to take a contract over there. This means I ended employment here, all my family are over there, and my rental lease ended when I left. – Lady_A Dec 29 '19 at 1:19
  • @Lady_A In your last comment, which countries are meant by "here" and "there?" – DavidSupportsMonica Dec 30 '19 at 13:06
  • @DavidSupportsMonica Here: USA, there: UK. I figured it was contextually apparent, I was not trying to be ambiguous. – Lady_A Dec 30 '19 at 14:18
  • This is something you should have an immigration attorney consult with. Just looking over your paperwork shouldn't cost much (much less than $1000) and they might catch other things that might go missing. Well worth the reduction in anxiety. AILA has referrals and many attorneys will do an initial phone consult for free. – RoboKaren Jan 2 at 5:40

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