Immigration can be a complicated and lengthy process, with many legal steps to complete. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a division of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). USCIS manages the naturalization and immigration system for the country. This includes processing and adjudicating different matters, including applications for work visas, asylum, and citizenship. The agency is also tasked with safeguarding national security, eliminating immigration case backlogs, and improving efficiency. The USCIS Policy Manual is an online archive for the agency’s immigration policies. Recently, USCIS added an update to the manual to clarify the requirements surrounding naturalization applicants’ absences from the United States.
Lawful permanent residence (LPR) means a non-citizen is authorized to work and live in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, that person is issued a permanent resident card, also known as a Green Card. Anyone who wishes to immigrate to the United States is not eligible until he or she completes the required time period of continuous residence as a lawful permanent resident.
A naturalization applicant typically must reside for a continuous period in the United States after his or her LPR admission for at least five years prior to filing the naturalization application. In addition, he or she must reside here until the application is accepted. According to the law, if an applicant is away from the United States 6-12 months during the statutory period, he or she is assumed to have broken the continuity of this residence. USCIS adjudicators are responsible for determining whether naturalization applicants have broken their continuous residence when reviewing naturalization applications....