The concept of continuous residency refers to an individual’s ability to maintain a permanent resident status in the United States over the duration of the statute’s requirements for naturalization purposes.
The residency is determined as “the same as it is shown on the person’s domicile, or primary real permanent home, regardless of the person’s purpose, and the length of an individual’s residency in a specific area counted from the instant the person first maintains residency in that site.”
As a result, regardless of whether the candidate intends to identify it as their primary habitation, the individual’s domicile is typically considered to be their actual physical location.
Requirements for Continuous Residency in the US
There are specific requirements if the applicant is looking to establish continuous residency in the US. They are as follows:
- Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three or five years (depending on how they immigrated) after obtaining a green card status or permanent legal residency.
- The applicant must have lived in the region where the petition is submitted for at least three months.
- From the time of admission to the U.S to submitting the application for naturalization, you must be domiciled in the United States.
- For the majority of the three or five years, you must’ve been physically present in the United States.
- If the candidate is in a marital union with a US citizen, the requirement for legal residency prior to applying is 3 years. Additional conditions that apply are as:
(a) the USC spouse has been residing in the United States for the past three years.
(b) the couple has been together in a marital relationship for the past three years.
Eligibility Requirements for Residency
An individual must be a legal resident for five years to be eligible for naturalization. In the case of the residency acquired via marriage to a US citizen, the applicant only requires three years of legal residency, provided that they are still married. The amount of time a legal permanent resident is actually physically present in the United States is known as a physical presence.
A legal permanent resident must prove actual physical presence in the United States for over 50% of the required term of continuous residence to be eligible for naturalization. Please get in touch with an immigration attorney to evaluate your case to see if you fulfill the legislative requirements for naturalization.
Have You Interrupted Your Residence Any Time?
The question may arise as to whether an applicant’s residency has actually been continuous since they acquired permanent resident status and if this residency has been disrupted at any point during that period.
What’s worth noting is that the physical presence criterion is usually calculated when a naturalization application is submitted, based on how many weeks the foreign citizen was in or out of the country.
The criterion that may demonstrate the continuation of residency is as follows:
- Continuous employment in the U.S.
- Direct relatives living in the United States
- Bills, taxes, and contracts in the applicant’s name with a U.S. address
Contact an Immigration Attorney Now!
Contact a qualified immigration lawyer to analyze your situation if you have questions regarding the residency and presence requirements for naturalization.
Your safest option is to hire an immigration attorney who can assist you assess if you fulfill the continuous residency requirement for citizenship.