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How should I prepare the US naturalization interview given that I have been living the last 5 months abroad? What papers should I bring in addition to the basic documents requested by the USCIS letter? Should I hire a lawyer?

Here is the relevant timeline:

  • I got my Green Card in early 2008 through my employer at the time.
  • Sent my N-400 application form in 09/2018.
  • Moved to France for the school year the last week of 08/2019 (this is largely to deal with my Dad's estate. My Dad passed away in late March 2019).
  • Received my interview letter in early 12/2019.
  • Interview is scheduled for mid-01/2020.

Other information: I have a 12-year old son who is a US & French citizen, born in the US from an American Mom. His Mom and I have been married for the last 3 years and the marriage is going strong, for what it's worth. I have been a stay-at-home Dad since the second half of 2008 and have not had any income during this time. I have a French undergrad degree and a US MBA.

  • When are you planning to return to the United States? Do you have a re-entry permit? – Matthew FitzGerald-Chamberlain Jan 5 at 23:06
  • We're planning to return at the end of the school year. I do not have a re-entry permit as I knew we would be gone for less than a year. – JDelage Jan 7 at 6:35
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    Is this absence going to be over 6 months? Do you have documentation to suggest that this won't break the continuous residence requirement for naturalization? See uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-12-part-d-chapter-3 – Matthew FitzGerald-Chamberlain Jan 7 at 15:16
  • We still own our house and are paying bills there. I have not acquired employment in France. My wife is now back in the US and will be for the rest of the year (she's taking classes, but in a different state than where our residence is). – JDelage Jan 8 at 6:33
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    Ok, that sounds like it would satistfy 8 CFR 316.5(c)(1)(ii), however I am not a lawyer and cannot speak to that with any degree of certainty. – Matthew FitzGerald-Chamberlain Jan 8 at 15:18

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