How To Prove Continuous Residence In The U.S.
The requirements for immigration benefits depend on what immigration status the applicant is applying for. When applying for U.S. citizenship through naturalization, the applicant must prove they have been physically present and continuously resided in the United States. This is called continuous residence.
What Is Continuous Residence?
Continuous residence means that your primary place of actual residence is in the United States. To apply for certain immigration benefits, the applicant has to prove they had continuous residence in the United States:
- U.S. Citizenship:
An applicant for naturalization must have resided continuously in the United States for at least 5 years before filing the naturalization after receiving their green card. Qualified spouses of U.S. citizens must prove continuous residence in the U.S. for at least 3 years.
- Disproving Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status:
To prove they did not abandon their Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status, applicants may be required to show that they have continuously maintained the U.S. as their residence. If an applicant has been outside of the US. for more than 6 months but less than 1 year, they may need to disprove they abandoned their LPR status.
Evidence to Prove Your Residence
Being physically absent outside the United States for more than 6 months can affect the applicant’s ability to prove continuous residence in the U.S. Applicants may need to provide proof of their continuous residence. According to the website, USCIS considers the following documentation as evidence that may be used to prove continuous residence include the following:
(i) passport pages showing admission or parole;
(ii) arrival/departure records;
(iii) income tax records;
(iv) mortgage deeds or leases;
(v) insurance premiums and policies;
(vi) birth, marriage and death certificates of Immediate Relatives ( IRs);
(vii) medical records;
(viii) bank records;
(ix) school records;
(x) receipts containing identifying information;
(xi) census records;
(xii) newspaper articles about the applicant;
(xiii) employment records;
(xiv) military records;
(xv) draft records;
(xvi) car registrations;
(xvii) union membership records; and
(xviii) affidavits from credible witnesses having personal knowledge.
Suppose an LPR (green card holder) was outside the United States for family emergencies or immigration purposes, such as a consulate meeting. In that case, they will need to prove why they were outside of the U.S. for an extended time period.
DuPage and Cook County Immigration Attorney
There are specific documents and qualifications to apply for naturalization. Trying to navigate the USCIS process to complete the naturalization process and other immigration applications can be confusing without the right help. Simple mistakes or missed deadlines can result in delays, extra costs or even a denial. Talk to the experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office at 630-912-0322.
AREAS WE SERVE: Godoy Law Office Immigration Lawyers serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will and Lake Counties.