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Is obtaining a re-entry permit (via I-131, Application for Travel Document) of any use to avoid disrupting one's continuity of residence for US naturalization purpose when staying over 6 months outside the United States? Or is the re-entry permit just to try not to lose one's green card?

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No. The only things that can prevent interruption of continuous residence (USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12, Part D, Chapter 3) are:

  • For an absence of between 6 months and 1 year, certain evidence that the applicant maintained ties to the US, like the applicant maintained their job in the US, the applicant's family members remained in the US, the applicant maintained access to his/her home, etc.
  • For an absence of more than 1 year, if the applicant filed form N-470 to preserve continuous residence, based on employment with US government or certain US organizations outside the US
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