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Can I travel while waiting for citizenship?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2022 | Immigration

As an immigrant, it is understandable that you might want to travel back home for visits or even to other countries for pleasure or work. Still, you have recently submitted your N-400 application for naturalization, and you do not want to do anything to jeopardize your opportunity for citizenship.

In general, it is okay for you to travel outside of the United States while your application for citizenship is pending as long as there are no legal reasons that preclude you from doing so. Beyond that, there are a few things that you will want to be aware of before booking your flight.

Ways you can interfere with your citizenship process

Part of the legal requirements for becoming a naturalized citizen is continuous residence and physical presence. You have to have lived continuously in the United States for five years before submitting your N-400 application. If you spend more than 180 days outside of the U.S., this may disrupt your continuous residence status and could disqualify you from naturalization.

You will also want to ensure that you are available for the three in-person appointments that are required in the naturalization process. This includes the biometrics appointment, the interview and the oath ceremony. While it may be possible to reschedule these appointments, if you put them off for too long or ignore them completely, your application could be denied.

Taking short trips abroad while applying for citizenship usually isnʻt a problem. Itʻs wise to keep careful track of how much time you spend out of the United States as well as when your appointments are. Working through the naturalization process can be overwhelming, so you may find it helpful to discuss your situation with someone familiar with immigration law.