Continuity of Residence

A fundamental concept in naturalization law is that a prospective applicant interrupts the “continuity” of his residence for naturalization purposes in the following circumstances:

By remaining abroad for a continuous period in excess of twelve months (unless “extended absence” benefits are sought and granted). Such an absence conclusively interrupts continuity, regardless of extenuating circumstances-even if the applicant has a valid Reentry Permit.

By remaining abroad for a continuous period in excess of six months, unless he/she convinces the INS examiner that the absence was indeed temporary in nature. Evidence that the applicant did not disrupt the continuity of residence in this situation might include proof that:

  • the applicant did not terminate employment in the U.S.;
  • the applicant’s immediate family remained in the U.S.;
  • the applicant retained full access to his “abode” in the U.S.;
  • the applicant did not obtain employment abroad.

Other relevant documents and information can be also considered. The fact that the applicant is not deemed to have abandoned LPR status and is still considered a lawful resident DOES NOT necessarily mean that continuity of residence for naturalization purposes is maintained.