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Ask Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. Your Own...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 109313
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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Background: My wife and I married on Sep. 9, 2010. At the time

Customer Question

Background: My wife and I married on Sep. 9, 2010. At the time of our marriage, my wife was a U.S. citizen and I held work visa. My wife

sponsored my greencard application before my visa expired and I received greencard on Feb. 1, 2012.

Issue: My compnay plan to transfer me to Malaysia or Argentina (not decided) in Oct./Nov. 2013 due to close of business in U.S, my employer

and payroll will also transfer to Malaysia or Argentina. Once I work abroad, I plan to return U.S every 4-6 months and stay for 1 week to

maintain my resident status. I will also keep my own house in Texas, so my wife can come back for long vacation purpose.

Question: By the end of Aug., 2013, I will have stayed in Texas for 18 months after receiving greencard. I was told that I will be eligible to apply

for naturalization on Nov. 1, 2014 if stay in Texas for the next 14 months. but since I will work abroad start from Oct./Nov 2013. Will I be eligible

for naturalization after Nov. 1, 2014? What do I need to do if i want to be eligibile for naturalization? Thanks.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thank you for using our service. My name isXXXXX and I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help you. I just ask for two things: 1) Before you sign off, please remember to rate me positively as that is the only way that I am paid and your question does not close after you rate me so I can still answer additional questions without additional charge if you have follow-ups even weeks or months later; and, 2) IF I have bad news for you, please remember I am only the messenger. When you rate me, it is my service to you that you rate, not whether the news is good or bad. I will try my best to give you a solution, but sometimes the law does not have a good one.

Unfortunately, I do not have good news for you. Everyone knows about that rule, but that is not the only rule. That rule is not for maintaining Lawful Permanent Residency. That rule is for not disrupting continuity of Residency for Naturalization purposes. But that does not help you with abandonment of Residency.

Anyone that is a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and is outside of the U.S. for 180 days or more within any 12 month period (not necessarily calendar year) creates a rebuttable presumption of abandonment of residency. That presumption can be rebutted by evidence to the contrary such as filing U.S. taxes, maintaining a home in the U.S. and paying that mortgage or rent, maintaining a U.S. drivers license, U.S. bank accounts with significant movement, etc.

Someone that has been outside of the U.S. for more than 1 year without first having an approved re-entry permit has abandoned their residency and only in very few exceptions (such as serious illness) can they get it back.

And take a look at this official link that even says that a trip of less than 1 year can still affect your Residency:

So what can you do? You will need to either spend more than 180 days out of every 12 months inside the U.S. or you will need to file for a Re-Entry Permit that will allow you to stay outside for up to 2 years and not lose Residency status. If you need more time, you come back, apply for another Re-Entry Permit and then you can leave for two more years.

ALSO, if you are going to maintain Residency AND continuity of Residency for Naturalization, then you will need to do BOTH:

1) Get the Re-Entry Permit, AND

2) Come back to the U.S. for a short time before 180 days have passed by.

If you do BOTH, then when you come back finally to live in the U.S. and you have 30 months of physical presence in the U.S. (18 months of physical presence if still married to a U.S. Citizen), then you can finally apply for U.S. Citizenship.

Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. If you do rate me positively, a bonus is always appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future, just go to Thank you!

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 4 years ago.

Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!