Filing and Interview

4.    Travel

Can I travel while I am applying for US citizenship?

Yes. As long as you have a valid permanent resident card, you are welcome to travel during the citizenship process. However, it is essential that you do not miss your fingerprinting appointment, naturalization interview, or oath ceremony. Any missed appointments can severely delay your application for US citizenship.

What travel dates are needed for a US citizenship application?

All travel dates outside the US from the last five years are required for every naturalization application.

As a green card holder, can I spend six months or more outside the United States to care for a sick family member without losing my permanent residence status?

Permanent residents are not supposed to travel outside the US for trips longer than six months. If you spend more than six months outside the US, when you return, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer may ask you to explain why you were away for so long. CBP may give you a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court. Trips less than six months long are rarely an issue.

Trips over six months long can also cause problems with US citizenship applications. An immigration officer may ask for proof that you did not abandon your US residence while out of the country for more than six months. To do this, you may be asked to provide evidence of tax returns, bank accounts, mortgages, or other ties to the US during the time that you were traveling. One of the greatest benefits of US citizenship is the ability to travel outside 

What if I travel for a year or more?

Any trip of one year or more means that a person must be in the US for four years and one day after their return to be eligible for US citizenship. If you think you will be outside the United States for one year or longer, you should apply for a re-entry permit before leaving. That permit will allow you to be away for up to two years. If you need to be away for longer, return before the two years have passed and apply for a new permit.

Additional answers can be found in other sections of our FAQ listed below:

  • Application Timeline
  • English and Civics
  • Gender Marker Change
  • Travel
  • Passport and Other Questions
  • Selective Service


If you did not find the answer you were looking for, you can sign up for a free personal consultation with our immigration specialist accredited by the US Immigration and Citizenship Services.

Also, please check if you are you eligible for US naturalization Sign up for a free test! In three minutes you will find out your eligibility.

Please click "next" to read FAQ: 5. Passport and Other Questions