Preserving residence

Preserving Residence for naturalization – In some of our earlier entries, we have discussed naturalization and the conditions of continuous residence and physical presence, which must be met before an individual becomes eligible for naturalization. Sometimes, a permanent resident is placed in a situation where they have to travel outside of the United States and they immediately become worried about their five-year period of continuous residence and physical presence for naturalization becoming interrupted. This entry will attempt to discuss how the residency and presence time periods can be preserved, so that once the permanent resident returns to the U.S., they do not have to start their five-year period all over again.

Which Application is Used to Make this Request for Preserving Residence?

Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes, is the form which is used to apply for this benefit. Before this request can be made by a potential applicant, they should check to make sure they are eligible for preserving residence.

Who is Eligible to Make this Request Preserving Residence?

Form N-470can only be submitted by permanent residents who have resided in the U.S. for at least one year for an uninterrupted period and without any absences from the United States during that time. Additionally, this request can only be made by permanent residents who must leave the U.S. for qualifying employment. “Qualifying employment” could be a job with the U.S. Government, a private sector position, or work with a religious organization.

What are the Benefits of Having the Request Granted?

If the USCIS approves the request to preserve residency, the applicant, along with their spouse and dependent children will all receive the benefit. This means that their time spent outside of the U.S. (while working) may be counted towards their residency requirement for the purposes of naturalizing.

It is important to note that if an applicant expects their foreign employment to last greater than one year, that they should still apply for a reentry permit. If their employment is with the U.S. Government, then a reentry permit is not generally required.

Consider setting up a consultation with an attorney at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.

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