How to Travel while your Naturalization Application is in Process?

A non-U.S. citizen can pledge their oath of allegiance and voluntarily become an American citizen under the U.S. Naturalization process. Travelling is allowed after you have filed Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. There are no restrictions in terms of traveling within the country, abroad, or even to your home country. However, some requirements have to be fulfilled before traveling during the naturalization process. Some of these are listed below:

  • Your Trip should not exceed 180 days:

To be eligible for naturalization, applicants must have continuously resided for at least 5 years in the United States. In addition to that, a period of 30 months of physical presence is required if your application is based on five years as a permanent resident.

However, if you are a spouse of a U.S. citizen, your permanent residence of three years will qualify you for the naturalization process. Additionally, it is required to have physical presence in the United States for at least 18 months (548 days) out of the 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application. This establishes the fact that you are residing exclusively in the United States of America and not in any other country.

When you decide to travel to your home country or abroad, provided that you have no legal restrictions, it should not be longer than 180 days.  If your travel during the statutory period itself is significant, it may not be in your best interest to travel while your naturalization is pending.

If your absence from the U.S. exceeds 180 days, then the United States Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS), may declare that you have abandoned your permanent residence. This can also lead to denial of your application for naturalization.

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  • Attend the Biometrics Appointment:

After filing the N-400 application for naturalization, USCIS will schedule an appointment for a Biometrics appointment within a few weeks. It is mandatory for the applicant to attend this appointment. If you are traveling abroad, you may reschedule your appointment, however it may lead to delay in your naturalization process.

  • Important Naturalization Interview:

After applicants have completed the biometrics appointment, it can take several months for the naturalization interview. It is mandatory to attend to the naturalization interview. During your naturalization interview, a USCIS officer will ask you questions about your application and background. You will also take an English and civics test unless you qualify for an exemption or waiver.  If you need to reschedule your appointment, please follow the instructions in your interview notice.

  • Oath Ceremony:

Once your application is approved, the last step in the naturalization process is the oath ceremony. USCIS will inform applicants regarding the date and time of the ceremony. The Oath of Allegiance to the United States is a sworn declaration that every citizenship applicant must recite during a formal ceremony in order to become a naturalized American citizen.

The time line for the naturalization process is approximately 8 to 12 months, depending on USCIS workload and your particular case. One of the best ways to ensure a short processing time is to carefully prepare your application, making sure that you prepare Form N-400 correctly and file it with USCIS according to the instructions.  Salinas Law Firm provides premium service in matters related to the naturalization process. Our Houston immigration attorney will guide you to ensure that you maintain your residence and physical presence requirements if you have to travel.  However, in times of emergency, applicants should ensure that their travel does not interfere with the naturalization interview.

Salinas Law Firm provides simple, affordable, step-by-step guidance through USCIS immigration applications like Form N-400.  We will make sure that applicants are fully prepared for their naturalization interview.

Salinas Law Firm is committed to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, honesty, justice, dedication to service, and upholding human rights.  We help in making the naturalization process smooth and hassle-free for our clients. Contact Us Now to address your legal problems.