Certain categories of US lawful permanent residents are allowed to reside outside of the US and its territories and continue gaining the prerequisites for US citizenship.
1. Employment Overseas
Those who meet certain employment criteria and work for:
- The US government, including the diplomatic service.
- An entity currently recognized by the USCIS as an American institution of research.
- An American firm or corporation (or a subsidiary thereof) where your work contributes to developing the foreign trade and commerce of the United States.
- An American firm or corporation engaged in the development of foreign trade and commerce of the United States, where you protect the property rights of that American firm or corporation outside the United States.
- A public international organization, of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute.
- A religious denomination or mission that has a bona fide organization in the United States, in which you perform ministerial or priestly functions, or where your sole role is a clergyman or clergywoman, missionary, brother, nun, or sister.
The USCIS requires to submit a special form, N-470, if a lawful permanent resident intends to live outside the United States for a period of one year or longer for one of the above-mentioned employment purposes and wants to preserve his or her status as an immigrant to pursue naturalization.
2. Spouses of US Citizens Employed Abroad
The spouse of a US citizen who is regularly stationed abroad in qualifying employment may be eligible for naturalization on the basis of their marriage. Spouses eligible under this provision are exempt from the continuous residence and physical presence requirements for naturalization.
The spouse must establish that he or she meets the following criteria in order to qualify:
- Married to a US citizen spouse regularly stationed abroad in qualifying employment for at least one year.
- Age 18 or older at the time of filing.
- Has a good faith intent to reside abroad with the US citizen spouse upon naturalization and to reside in the United States immediately upon the citizen spouse’s termination of employment abroad.
- Is able to prove that he or she will depart to join the citizen spouse within 30 to 45 days after the date of naturalization.
- Can demonstrate good moral character for at least three years prior to filing the application until the time of naturalization.
Other standard conditions for naturalization apply.
3. Children of US Citizens
- Children born to US citizens, of whom at least one is eligible to obtain US citizenship and be naturalized under certain conditions. This option implies a number of variations and eligibility options, which can be found on the USCIS website. You can also schedule a consultation with our specialist and discuss the particularities related to your case.
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