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Since I got my green card I have never stayed outside of the US for more than 6 months and 60% of the year, in the last 4 years, I stayed in the US.

This coming November, I can apply for US citizenship.

My question is that since this is the last year of my 5-year residency with a green card, if I stay outside the US for 5 months, will this negatively impact my citizenship?

During my citizenship interview, will I get asked why I did not stay the entire year and left for 5 months? Will I get asked to stay 5 more months after my interview and then re-apply for citizenship?

I heard that in the last year, I should be completely in the US to show the completed transition to US residency.

My 5-year continuous residency will be on 02/15/2025 and I can file my citizenship 90 days before that on 11/17/2024. This means I have to reside in the US 3 months before my filing date, which is 08/17/2024. Am I allowed to leave the country (for less than 6 months) after I filed the application?

Please advise me.

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There's no difference between the last of the 5 years and the other years. To naturalize under the 5-year rule, you need to meet the continuous residence requirement (continuous residence for the last 5 years, and continue to have continuous residence until naturalization) and the physical presence requirement (physically present in the US for half of those 5 years, i.e. 30 months). An absence of less than 6 months should generally not interrupt continuous residence. As for the physical presence test, you will need to see if you will still have 30 months out of the last 5 years after your 5-month absence.

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  • Thank you for your quick answer. I satisfy all the continuous residency and physical presence requirements. My 5-year continuous residency will be on 02/15/2025 and I can file my citizenship 90 days before that on 11/17/2024. This means I have to reside in the US 3 months before my filing date, which is 08/17/2024. Am I allowed to leave the country (for less than 6 months) after I filed the application and only stay in the US from 08/17/2024 to 11/17/2024? Commented Mar 29 at 19:07
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    @shashashamti2008: Yes. And there is no requirement that you be continuously physically present in the US for the 3 months before you file. You just need to have been residing in the state you file from for 3 months. You can take brief vacations elsewhere without affecting your residence.
    – user102008
    Commented Mar 29 at 23:03
  • This link you sent me uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-12-part-d-chapter-3 says "An applicant must also establish that he or she has resided in the state or service district having jurisdiction over the application for 3 months prior to filing.". Doesn't this mean I have to be in the US 3 months before filing? Commented Mar 30 at 1:44
  • @shashashamti2008: No, residing there doesn't mean you have to be physically there all the time.
    – user102008
    Commented Mar 30 at 5:15
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    For the naturalization process, you may need to attend a biometrics appointment, and an interview, in person in the United States, with no choice of appointment dates. So if you are abroad, just be prepared to return for those appointments. When I did it in 2005, they gave several weeks' notice for each appointment.
    – FlanMan
    Commented Apr 1 at 21:42

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