I have lived in USA long enough to qualify for citizenship due to 3+ years of marriage to a US citizen, and was thinking about applying. However I may soon end up being between contract jobs and have been offered a contract role in UK.

If I submit a US citizenship application, do I need to stay in USA until the application has been processed? Or can I take care of the rest of the processing from abroad?

(I'm an EU citizen and neither me nor my spouse is or has been in US military.)

2 Answers 2


There are these statements on the USCIS webpage about obtaining citizenship via marriage to a US citizen:

Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization until the time of naturalization

Be physically present in the United States for at least 18 months out of the 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application

Further, they discuss "continuous residence" and "physical location" which leads to these statements when someone leaves for more than six months but less than a year. One of the gotchas is:

The applicant did not terminate his or her employment in the United States or obtain employment while abroad.​

On the other hand, your spouse will presumably be maintaining your residence in the US.


It is okay as long as you leave for less than 6 months at a time. Leaving for more than 6 months generally interrupts your "continuous residence", which is one of the requirements for naturalization.

You will need to be in the U.S. for the fingerprinting, interview, and oath ceremony. So you cannot "take care of the rest of the processing from abroad".

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