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I have a relatively complex case regarding my greencard and…

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I have a relatively complex...
I have a relatively complex case regarding my greencard and citizenship. I have had a greencard for ten years, all of my immediate family have stayed in the United States. I have spent the last 6 years in and out of the United States for University and work. I have never been out of the States for more than 6 months at a time and have maintained an active bank account, drivers license etc. I want to know if I can apply to become a US Citizen.
Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Immigration Law
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
3/28/2018
Immigration Lawyer: Nisha Jones,
 replied 3 months ago
Nisha Jones
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 3,349
Experience: Managing Attorney at Nisha Jones Law, LLC
Verified

Good morning, I am an Immigration attorney and former Prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office, and I'll be answering your questions today. JustAnswer provides general legal information only and does not constitute legal advice. Please allow me just a few minutes to review your question, thank you!

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you, ***** ***** you need any more information please ask.
Immigration Lawyer: Nisha Jones,
 replied 3 months ago

Thank you. Give me just a few minutes to finish typing up some information for you, thanks!

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Immigration Lawyer: Nisha Jones,
 replied 3 months ago

Yes, you can apply for naturalization as long as you meet the physical presence and continuous residence requirements.

For the continuous residence requirement, USCIS requires that you:

  • have resided continuously in the U.S. for five years before applying

For the physical presence requirement, USCIS requires that you:

  • be physically present in the U.S. for thirty months within the five year period before applying
  • be physically present in the US for the three months preceding your N-400 application

Continuous residence can also established by showing proof that you maintained a permanent address in the US, or ongoing bank accounts, even while you may have been away travelling.

See:

https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-naturalization/continuous-residence-and-physical-presence-requirements-naturalization

You can access the N-400 form and instructions here:

https://www.uscis.gov/n-400

I hope that helps!

Please let me know if you have any other questions about this. Also, please take a moment to rate me using the stars at the top of the page, as it's the only way experts are compensated for our time on the site. I do not receive a salary here at JustAnswer, and am only compensated for my time after receiving a rating of 3 stars or more (5 stars are always appreciated). The question won't close after rating, so you can still ask follow-up questions after. Thanks, ***** ***** it!

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Hi Nisha,Yes, while I clearly can fulfil requirement 1 (continuous residence requirement) I am actually asking about requirement 2. I have been abroad earning degrees (BA, MA, MSc), is their manoeuvrability in this requirement for someone like me or no? I have never been out of the US for more than 6 months at a time, and all together, in the last five years, have probably been physically in the US for roughly 20-25 months.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I am asking because there is an eventual plan to move back to the US, but I would want to do so with my future spouse. My understanding of the US immigration law means I'd have to file a I-F30 (?) on her behalf as a Greencard Holder, but I also understand this processing can take about 5 years and during that time she would not qualify for any sort of US Visa, thus rendering her essentially unable to be in the United States for 5 years during which I'd be forced to stay in the United States.
Immigration Lawyer: Nisha Jones,
 replied 3 months ago

You should take some time and look at your travel dates to get an exact count on the months, but yes you will need to meet the full 30 month physical presence requirement -- 3 of which must be directly preceding your N-400 application.

You still need to meet that 30 month requirement, despite whatever the reasons for being out of the country were.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
even if she were to qualify for lets say, an H1B visa, she couldn't take it because the I-F30 would be pending
Immigration Lawyer: Nisha Jones,
 replied 3 months ago

The H1B visa is a dual intent visa which means yes, she could be approved for an H1B if an employer sponsored her, even with a pending I-130.

I hope that helps! Let me know if you still have any questions about this.

Don't forget to rate so I can be credited for my time and help with your question, thanks!

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Ah thats makes sense, so essentially the ideal scheme in my situation would be1. Marriage (whether here in Spain or USA doesn't matter)
2. Immediately apply for I-130
3. She applies and secures H1-B Visa and we immigrate to the USA together once she's secured the H1B (she has a masters etc)
4. Live on H1B until I-130 is approved.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Do you see any gap in my logic?
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Would it be possible to sponsor an H1B on technical ground for work with Alpaca textile and fabric (speciality skill) through our own company, registered in the USA, that operates in that industry?
Immigration Lawyer: Nisha Jones,
 replied 3 months ago

Yes, the immigration timeline you've written out is accurate.

You want to submit your naturalization application first. Once you naturalize, the I-130 for your wife would automatically change her priority from the spouse of a permanent resident to the spouse of a citizen, which should expedite her processing time.

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Immigration Lawyer: Nisha Jones,
 replied 3 months ago

With regards ***** ***** H1B, if you are an owner of this company, then yes you may be able to file for the H1B.

You'll need to demonstrate that efforts have been made to find an employee in the US, but that no one was qualified. You'll also need to demonstrate her degree or work experience that qualifies her.

See:

https://www.uscis.gov/.../h-1b-specialty-occupations-dod-cooperative-research-and-de...

I hope that helps!

Don't forget to rate, thanks!

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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