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Fiancee moved here as a child and has had his green card for over 10 years. Due to abusive parents and not having been able to afford the filing fee until recently, he doesn't have citizenship. He has never once left the US since moving here 10 years ago.

What holds us back now is the 3 month state residency requirement prior to filing. We moved states to for a team/university back in January. We left that state late May, though sadly continued paying rent until July 1. We currently have no housing there, but plan to move back and stay from September - December. We spent the summer in a different state, and plan to spend December in a third or fourth state. I believe (?) we meet state residency requirements for the place he's taking classes at, and I myself have been paying state taxes there since January.

We frankly are unsure of where we want to live long-term, and have it down to 4 states. We may or may not continue to live and attend classes in the state we moved to for his team. We may or may not wind up moving to a different state in January, or if not January, then in June.

I've read various answers regarding travel outside of the US, but this is about someone in a transition period of their life where they're simply struggling to decide which state in the US to live in.

Do you need to remain in the state you file with throughout the 2 year application period?

What is considered state residency? If you leave to live in another state for 3 months in the summer, do you start that 3 month waiting period over again?

We think we may qualify for state residency in the university's state, but we cannot honestly say that we'd intended to keep living in that state during the summer, as we were debating whether to live elsewhere in the fall.

We are worried it'll be a long time before we're able to say with confidence and decide where we will be living long-term (in terms of which state) and thus to even be able to begin the process of citizenship. We're also frustrated that there seems to be so much emphasis placed on which state, not country, you want to live in.

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  • I don't think this is exactly the same -- we continued paying rent in the old state through July. The places we stayed in our summer state were (deliberately) temporary places, not permanent ones, as we (explicitly) weren't willing to commit to a longer term place until we'd decided with certainty where we wanted to live and thought we'd likely return to our original state. My job and taxable state of residence has also continued to be in that initial state (January-May/June). Fiancee also had the summer off at his university/team, though he'll be continuing as a part-time student in the fall.
    – Emily
    Aug 17, 2022 at 1:08
  • I'm not even sure what "moving to a new state" entails. Plenty of people go to another state for summer internships/traveling/fun and visit family/friends in different state for the winter holidays. Some students surely debate at some point whether they'll take a gap semester (etc). Most people also have leases that are month to month, find subleasers, or only sign up for Aug/Sept-May/June leases.
    – Emily
    Aug 17, 2022 at 1:16

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