Naturalization requires the applicant to meet certain residency and presence requirements regarding their stay in the United States. Continuous Residence and Physical Presence are essential terms any applicant for naturalization must be familiar with. Today, I will discuss continuous residence. 8 CFR § 316.2 and 8 CFR § 319 set the legal foundation for an applicant to meet the continuous residence requirement. In essence, these sections require the applicant to reside continuously in the United States for five years before applying OR in the case of qualified spouses of United States' citizens, a period of three years.
Continuous presence means the applicant has met the required timeframes of either three or five years, whichever is applicable. Section 316.5(c)(1) provides that when an applicant is absent outside the United States for an extended period of time between six months to a year, the absence shall disrupt the continuous residence process, unless the applicant can establish otherwise.
For example, Suzie Q leaves the United States for an eight-month period of time. Suzie Q's continuous residency will be interrupted unless Suzie Q can prove certain factors to the satisfaction of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. Those factors include: A) The applicant did not terminate his or her employment in the United States; B) The applicant's immediate family remained in the United States; C) The applicant retained full access to his or her United States abode; or D) The applicant did not obtain employment while abroad. The naturalization process can be complicated and confusing. Call the Law Office of Robert L. Booker, P.C. today and let us guide you through the process to citizenship.