Applying to become a naturalized citizen of the United States can be a lengthy and complex process. There are a great many legal requirements that you will need to fulfill, one of which is maintaining a continuous residence within the country for a specified period of time. This can be relaxed under certain circumstances.
What is the continuous residence requirement?
The continuous residence requirement is part and parcel of immigration and naturalization law within the United States. The requirement basically stipulates that you must first receive a lawful permanent resident, or LPR, admission to remain in the country.
You must then reside in a continuous manner in the U.S. for a period of at least five years. Once you have done so, you will be entitled to file a naturalization application. You will also need to be able to prove that you have resided in the state or service district where the application was filed for at least three months. The terms of continuous residence can be considered broken if you are absent from the United States for more than six months.
Can you apply to modify this requirement?
The fear that many candidates for naturalization have is that breaking the continuous residence requirement may result in a negative adjustment of their status. However, this is not always the case. Certain applicants may be eligible for a reduced period of residence.
There are a number of conditions under which you may qualify to receive an exemption from the continuous residence requirement. Certain classes of members of the U.S. military and certain spouses of American citizens may be exempted. It’s a good idea to research these conditions to discover if you are eligible.