How Travel Can Affect Naturalization

Citizenship is the dream of many immigrants, and the naturalization process is the path to obtaining U.S. citizenship for any foreign-born person. Naturalization is a long and complex process, and mistakes may require you to begin the process again. One little-known factor that may affect your naturalization process is travel abroad.

How Does Travel Affect the Naturalization Process?

Two requirements of the naturalization process may be disrupted by extensive travel out of the country. These requirements are:

  • Continuous Residence
  • Physical presence

These requirements require you to live in the U.S. for a certain amount of time before you may apply for naturalization.

Continuous Residence

This requirement is looking to see if you have maintained residence in the U.S. for at least 5 years directly prior to applying for citizenship. Your period of residence can be interrupted by short trips without disrupting your eligibility for naturalization, but longer trips can jeopardize the process. Trips shorter than 6 months are acceptable to take and will not affect your application. Trips that last 6 to 12 months can hurt your application, unless you have evidence to demonstrate that you did not abandon your residency in the U.S. If your trip lasts more than a year, you will have to wait to apply for naturalization. If you are uncertain if your travel has affected your eligibility to apply for citizenship, you should consult your immigration attorney.

Physical Presence

To meet this requirement, you must be physically present in the U.S. for 30 months of the 5 years prior to application for naturalization. This requirement means that you must be in the U.S. for a collective total of 30 months, not merely maintaining residence in the country while traveling abroad.

Speak to a Garden City Immigration Lawyer - (516) 806-4070

You will be required to report your trip dates for the past 5 years when you apply for naturalization. If you are concerned about how your travel history may affect your eligibility for citizenship, you should get in touch with the Kapoor Law Firm. Our top-rated team of Garden City immigration attorneys can help you evaluate your options and advise you through the process of obtaining your citizenship.

Contact our offices to schedule a free consultation with our team. Call (516) 806-4070 today.

Additional Reading