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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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I have been provisionally denied naturalization. From 2008

Customer Question

I have been provisionally denied naturalization. From 2008 to 2012 I was out of the country taking care of my sick mother. I returned to the U.S. at least every 6 months, I maintained a condominium in Massatustets and paid all required U.S. taxes. I did work in china while taking care of my mother. Since 2012 I have not left except for business trips for my current employer. Can I get an excemption for the 5 year requirement
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 14 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help.

What was the exact date that you came back from the last long trip that was 6 months or more? When did you file the N-400?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Returned February 1, 2012 - Filed N-400 February 2016
Green Card Issued may 2007
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Children? No Children I am a single, 42 years old, I returned to china to care for my mother who was sick at the time and has since passed away.. I owned a condominium in Massachusetts during the time I was away, paid taxes etc
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, that last message was not for you. Sometimes the different message threads get crossed. Anyway, on the date that you filed the N-400, you had 4 years and 1 day or more since your last long trip, so I don't understand why they denied you. On the date that you filed the N-400, looking back at the 60 months previous to filing, did you have at least 30 months of physical presence in the U.S.?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if your question is from the previous 60 months which would have bin February 2011 did I have 30 months physical presence- Yes. From February 2012 to today I have had physical presence - though I have had to take trips to china for work but that is only weeks at a time if that not months
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they are asking for proof of tbsax filing from 2011 to 2015; copies of passport; proof of physical prescnec in California or Massachusetts, from 2001;
documentation to establish that I didn't disrupt my continuity of residence in the U.s during all abscences
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my concern is that I while I was taking care of my mother I did obtain employement in china not as a u.s. person but as a local- however I continued to maintain my household in MAssutestes and paid all my taxes.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Well, you count backwards from the day that you file the N-400. So counting backwards from that date in February 2016, did you have more than 30 months of physical presence in the U.S.? Did you have 90 days or more living in the jurisdiction that you interviewed? Can you prove that physical presence?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
again though, I was required to take trips for my employer.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Ok. Then they may be looking to see if you perhaps abandoned your Residency because even if you disrupted your continuity of Residency, you can count 4 years and 1 day from your last long trip of longer than 6 months and I think you will be ok with that. Can you provide the evidence that they are requesting that you did not abandon your Residency status by your long trips and actions?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I returned home at least once every 6 months, I filed my taxes, I had purchased a home in MA that I kept in my name. Would I be deemed to have abandonded during that 4 years stretch, does the last 4 years that I have not matter? In other words what if looking at the evidence I provide they determine I didn't follow the proper procedures and effectively abandonded my residency, what happens to the last 4 years where I have been back in compliance- woujld I potentiall lose my green card status?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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.

Here is an official link:

So yes, it is possible that they believe that you abandoned your Residency status. They recently changed the N-400 to ask about the last 5 years and no farther back because I think they didn't want to deal anymore with abandonment of Residency issues because that would require them to send the case to an Immigration Judge which costs the government money.

What you have to hope for is that they are just going through the motions because the law requires it, but because you own a house in the U.S. and paid your U.S. taxes, etc. You should have enough so that they don't want to forward your case to immigration court. You can also withdraw your case and file a new N-400 when more than 5 years have passed since your last long trip, but I don't think that is necessary. Just provide the evidence of everything that you had in the U.S. during your time away.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions and there is no additional charge. Also, should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! When we are done, if you would be so kind as to leave a positive rating for my service, I would sincerely ***** ***** You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars if you see them, or the smiley faces if you see them. If you do not see any stars or smiley faces, please at least leave a THANK YOU for me so I can let the administrators know. Your question thread does NOT close, so you can ask additional questions without additional charge even after leaving a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello John Merz. Thank you for your kindness and respect. Good luck to you.