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Citizenship application - 4 year + 1 day rule or not needed?

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  • Citizenship application - 4 year + 1 day rule or not needed?

    Hi all,

    I have a question about my application. Hoping you guys can help!
    I've been a PR for close to a decade but I left the US and worked for a US company overseas for just over a year (14 months to be exact) and I'm still with the same company. My time overseas was from December of 2014 until February of 2016.
    Within that period I got divorced and married another US citizen.
    Since February 2016 I've lived in the US and bought a house, had kids etc. so I'm firmly planted in the U.S.

    My question is, can I apply for Citizenship now? Does the 4 year and 1 day rule only apply if I've applied and been denied based on the 5 year continuous residence rule?
    My green card expires in April of next year, so I could apply for the 4 year and 1 day rule based on timing if that is a possibility.

    Unfortunately my 3 year anniversary with my wife is in May, so the green card will have expired. Otherwise I could go about it based on marriage.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    There is a new policy document about to take effect here
    https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/...itizenship.pdf

    I guess you are looking for ways to avoid the $540 Green Card Renewal Fee.... right?

    If I'm understanding your dates correctly...

    1) If you apply NOW using the 5 year rule.... I think you will be rejected due to the 1 year trip overseas rule (not working for the Government)
    I can't think of any reason why applying NOW would succeed. I think you'd just be throwing away the N400 application fee.

    2) If you wait 4 years and a day... I think you should be able to apply in late February 2020 which is 4 years and a day after your return in February 2016.
    I'm not sure whether the expiring Green Card is an issue there or not. Almost certainly, it will expire before the N400 process is completed.

    This reference suggests you don't need to be denied to use the 4 year and a day rule.... but it's ambiguous like the USCIS rule... they keep mentioning being denied. Hence your question!

    https://citizenpath.com/continuous-r...-requirements/

    It says..
    Four Years and One Day Rule
    If you have a break in your continuity of residence, it’s not necessary to accrue another five years of continuous residence before applying for naturalization. An applicant who is required to establish continuous residence for at least five years and whose application for naturalization is denied for an absence of one year or longer, may apply for naturalization four years and one day after returning to the United States to resume permanent residence. An applicant who is subject to the three-year continuous residence requirement may apply two years and one day after returning to the United States to resume permanent residence. This is known as the “four years and one day” rule and is described in 8 CFR §316.5(c)(1)(ii).

    3) If you try to go the 3 year married to a citizen route.... Even though your anniversary is in May... can't you apply 3 months earlier in February? Not sure.
    I'm not sure whether the expiring Green Card is an issue there or not. Almost certainly, it will expire before the N400 process is completed.

    In summary, I think you may have two options in February. Avoiding the marriage route may be easier because you can avoid having to prove a "real" marriage and avoid messing with the 3-months early rules.

    Did any of that help?

    BTW. I'm not an attorney... I'm just trying to interpret the rules by reading them.
    I think a quick chat with an attorney couldn't hurt to nail down the EXACT rules for 4 years and a day. Hopefully that might be a free call or a low-cost consultation.
    You might also want to get clarification on whether you need to pay $540 to renew the green card or if there is some temporary extension that can be used since you will (possibly) be in the middle of a N400 application. Obviously, the safest option is to renew the green-card.
    Last edited by N400questions; 10-14-2019, 10:51 PM.

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    • #3
      You may want to monitor this other thread on the "Experiences" side of the website too.
      https://www.immihelp.com/experience/...tml#div_430781

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      • #4
        Thanks for the response! I'm trying to see if the company I work for can help at all. At least get someone to answer questions so I know which route to take.
        It may be easier to just go down the Green Card renewal path again and then do citizenship in a few years. Just to avoid the hassle and not knowing.
        Plus I don't want the green card to expire and then possibly run into other issues.

        I'll keep the thread posted so it'll hopefully help others if I manage to figure it out..

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        • #5
          Yes. If there's no sense of urgency and you can afford it... then paying to renew the Green Card and waiting until late February 2021 avoids all these issues. (real or imagined).
          Please let us know if you get a definitive answer about when the 4 & 1 rule can be applied and let us know what was your source of information.

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          • #6
            Emmm mostly the applications for this citizenship are take some time because the verification periods are very long and in details for approve this application so i think we must wait for some time to approve this application

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