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Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 11393
Experience:  Write FOR JAMES to get my help!
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My grandmother's application for naturalization has just

Customer Question

My grandmother's application for naturalization has just been denied. She had two periods during the past 6 years of leaving the US for periods of over 6 months but less than 12 months. Her daughter, whom she currently resides with along with her son in law, remained in the US. She also maintained her name on our utility bills. Is there any way we could repeal this decision? Otherwise, it will severely delay her case as her last return from one of these trips was in March of 2015.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Expert James replied 5 months ago.

Hello! Thank you for using Just Answer. I am James, and I will be assisting you. As we work through your questions, think about this as a back and forth conversation. Once you've received the information you need, you can thank me by issuing me a positive rating of 3, 4, or 5 stars. This is the only way I get credit for doing my job, so please do not forget this before leaving the site.

On what basis was the case denied?

Did the denial notice provide an opportunity to file a Motion to Reconsider or Reopen the case? Or an opportunity for an appeal?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello,
Thanks for your message.
She was denied because she was outside the US for two periods over 6 months but less than a year. They said she abandoned her continuous residency. You must have 5 years of continuous residency.However, her daughter stayed in the US so according to the law I didn't think it would be a problem.
Expert:  Expert James replied 5 months ago.

Thanks for the information. However, there is still some missing.

Did the denial notice provide an opportunity to file a Motion to Reconsider or Reopen the case? Or an opportunity for an appeal?

Also, did she just file the application? Or did she provide some sort of evidence that she maintained close ties to the US even when she was abroad?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello,Yes. They said we must request a hearing within 30 days. I have attached the letter, it is at the bottom of page 2.Everything was going well and she did go for two interviews, i thought they would have made this decision prior to the interviews rather than after which is frustrating.Do you think we can over turn this? Her daughter was here for all those periods when she wasn't.
Expert:  Expert James replied 5 months ago.

I do not see the attached notice.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Look at my last response. They were there. IMG-2698.PNG, IMG_2699.PNG are the file names.Regardless, have you ever had a client who was denied for losing continuous residence due to being outside the US for over 6 months but less than a year? If they had a daughter who was still here, would this be enough to overturn it?
Expert:  Expert James replied 5 months ago.

I'm sorry, but those documents are not there. Kindly remember that I do not get a salary here. Your positive rating is the only way I am rewarded for doing my job. So please do not forget to give me 3 or more stars, or any smiling faces, before leaving the site today. Thank you!

ANSWER: Yes, I have had experience with a denial such as this. The law clearly states that a person who leaves the US for 6 months or more on any single trip is presumed to have broken continuous residence.

They can rebut the presumption by showing they did not intend to abandon permanent resident status. The goal is to provide evidence of strong ties to the US to support the rebuttal: strong family ties, property ties, employment ties, educational ties, bank accounts, tax returns, etc.

As far as whether the daughter, alone, being enough, there is no way for me to know. The determination of strong ties that would rebut the presumption is discretionary. That means it is subjective on the part of the officer. So the more evidence to show, the higher the likelihood that the officer will find in her favor.

The only way to get past this now is to file a motion with new evidence showing her strong ties to the US while she was away.

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Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your advice. I am planning to request a hearing using form N-336 per the denial letter. Do you think hiring an attorney would help us have a better chance at successfully overturning this? The things they list, such as:Applicant's immediate family remainedin the US, Applicant retained full access to his or her US abode, or Applicant did not obtain employment while abroad, I think we can prove. She lives with my parents and her room was untouched and belongings were still there for her return (although this may be tough to prove), she did not obtain employment while abroad, and her daughter remained in the U.S.
Expert:  Expert James replied 5 months ago.

Kindly remember that I do not get a salary here. Your positive rating is the only way I am rewarded for doing my job. So please do not forget to give me 3 or more stars, or any smiling faces, before leaving the site today. Thank you!

ANSWER: I always think it is a good idea to have an attorney. Especially when there is a complication in a benefit request, such as in this case. An attorney is best positioned to present a case to the immigration authorities.

But I have no way of knowing the chances of success, in general. I will say that it is possible, but decisions are discretionary.

I hope I have answered your questions. Please help me get credit for doing my job, by giving me a positive rating of 3, 4 or 5 stars or any of the smiling faces. You can still ask more questions, even after you’ve given a rating.

I aim to give you excellent service, even if the outcome is not what you wanted. So I am happy to answer any related follow-up questions you might have, at no additional charge.

And if you want to talk on the phone for 30 minutes, I can send you an offer for that.

A BONUS is also appreciated if you feel I've earned it.

And if you have questions in the future, write FOR JAMES in the question and I will be your personal Expert in this category.

Thank you!

Expert:  Expert James replied 5 months ago.

Hi, I’m just checking in to see how things are going.

I see you have reviewed my answer but I have not yet received a rating for my customer service. Do you need more help or need me to explain anything else? Please respond so that I know what to do next.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello James,
Thanks for checking in. I just submitted the form N-336, request for hearing after a denial. I submitted evidence that her daughter, who is immediate family, stayed in the US during her time abroad. I had previously submitted utility bills showing that her name was on them and she had access to her abode in the US while abroad. I also stated that she did not obtain employment while abroad. I submitted this and am hoping they will overturn the denial. Let's cross our fingers to find out.
Expert:  Expert James replied 5 months ago.

Hi, I’m just checking in to see how things are going. Do you need more help or need me to explain anything else? Please respond so that I know what to do next.

Thank you.

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