10-31-2006, 12:54 AM
Hi, I came to the US on H4 visa in 2001 May and got my green card in the next couple of months. I am going to apply for my citizenship in the US in May 2007 as I complete 4.9 years after GC that time. However, I have read that a person should not be travelling outside the USA for more than 6 months each visit during last 5 yrs. I have stayed in India once in 2002 for 5 months and now again in 2006 for 5 months due to my mothers major surgery. I am now back in the US, however, the visa official wrote " 5 months" on my passport. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR CITIZENSHIP in May 2006? I need to return to India for 2-3 months for some imp. work. Can i go next month and still not hamper my citizenship chances. Pls. reply asap as I need to travel in a week. Thanks in advance for your response.
11-02-2006, 04:15 AM
Yes, you can go to india (or somewhere else) as often as you like.
HOWEVER! : You should not take any ONE trip longer than 6 months (6 months seems to be a concern, though 1 year may be the "killer" mark where you lose your green card and/or have to start over counting the 5 years ).
To make things clear, you can be gone for 5months and 29 days, then back in the US, then gone again for 5 months and 29 days and you'll be ok as far as the 6 months rule applies.
ALSO : In the 5 years of US residence, you must have spent at LEAST half of that (30 months) physically present in the US.
You can take several 5 months trips if you like, but if the total of the days that you were out of the US adds up to more than 2.5 years over the past 5, then it's not good for you.
Note: I'm not a lawyer, just researched and asked about this since I've taken a LOOOOT of trips these past couple years.