|Preserving Residence as a US Green Card Holder While Residing in India|
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|Registration of Foreigners in India | Regulations Applicable To Foreigners In India | Preserving Residence as a US Green Card Holder While Residing in India|
Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization PurposesAn LPR that remains outside the US for more than one year will disrupt the naturalization residence requirement, unless he or she is absent due to a qualifying employment as described below and is the beneficiary of an approved N-470 application. In certain, limited situations, a person may be able to preserve residency, previously accumulated for naturalization purposes, even though he or she may be residing outside the US for longer than one year. In such cases the time spent outside the US may be counted toward the residency requirement. Eligible persons include persons employed in specific jobs in the US government, private sector or religious organizations and foreign nationals that are members of the US armed services. In addition, certain LPRs may be eligible for expeditious processing if his or her US citizen spouse is employed outside the US as a missionary, or by a US corporation or is a member of the US military.
The benefit of qualifying for preserving the residency may be extended to the qualifying person’s spouse and dependant children who are all members of the same household and have lived with the principal applicant while abroad.
An LPR who will be absent from the US, for more than one year due to a qualifying employment, should file an N-470 application to preserve his or her residence for the naturalization process. An LPR should have been physically present and residing in the US for an uninterrupted period, without any absences whatsoever, for at least one year, after admission as an LPR, before he or she is eligible to file an N-470 application. In addition, the N-470 application should be submitted to the USCIS before having been absent from the US for a continuous period of one year. To obtain approval to preserve residence, qualifying LPRs must file their N-470 application before departing from the US. The LPR must also explain his or her employment with one of the qualifying organizations. Furthermore, certain specified religious workers are exempt from this requirement.
To qualify for an N-470 application the applicant must have been physically present in the US for an uninterrupted period, without any absences whatsoever, for at least one continuous year following admission as an LPR. Any absences, even brief ones, from the US, during this period are not allowed. Additionally, the applicant should be employed outside the US by either (i) the US Government, or (ii) a US research institution recognized by the US Department of Homeland Security, or (iii) a US business (a US firm or subsidiary thereof) engaged in whole or in part in the development of foreign trade and commerce of the US, or (iv) a public international organization of which the US is a member. The LPR must also prove then the absence from the US was because of the employment.
Religious workers may apply before or after departure, or after returning to the US. They are not required to have lived in the US for a specific period of time prior to filing an N-470 application.
It should be noted that filing a form N-470 application to preserve residence for naturalization purposes does not relieve an LPR from obtaining a re-entry permit, in advance of trips outside the US for a year or more.
Spouse of Permanent Resident Employed AbroadAn exception to these requirements is for time spent outside the US during which a person is considered to be constructively present in the US. Under the US Immigration and Nationality Act, the residence requirements are waived if the applicant is the spouse of a US citizen who is
(i) a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, or
(ii) an employee or an individual under contract to the US Government, or
(iii) an employee of an American institution or research recognized by the US Department of Homeland Security, or
(iv) an employee of an American-owned firm or corporation engaged in the development of foreign trade and commerce for the US, or
(v) an employee of a public international organization of which the United States is a member by law or treaty, or
(vi) a person who performs ministerial or priestly functions for a religious denomination or an interdenominational organization with a valid presence in the US.
If the citizen spouse is employed for at least one year according to an employment contract or order, then the residency requirements are waived. As per the applicable law, the citizen spouse’s employment abroad must be for a period of at least one year. If this requirement is met, the naturalization application can be filed before the employment abroad begins. There is no minimum required residence in the US or a minimum period for which the applicant must have been a permanent resident. The applicant must, however, declare his or her intention to reside permanently in the US upon the termination of the spouse’s foreign employment.
If a person has broken the continuity of residence he or she may re-apply for naturalization four years and one day following the date of his or her return to the US to resume residence. If the statutory 3-year period is involved, then it is two years and one day following his or her return to the US. In addition, during war times, soldiers being deployed overseas are eligible for citizenship without meeting the normal residency requirements.
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