Continuous Residence and Physical Presence for Naturalization


Call Us

*Applicants generally must be a continuous resident for 5 years subsequent to lawful permanent resident or green card status.

*Must have resided for at least three months in the state where the application is filed

Must be physically present in U.S. for at least one-half of the 5 years (or one-half of 3 years if spouse of U.S. citizen or obtained Legal Permanent Resident Status through VAWA)

*Must Reside Continuously in the U.S. from the Date of Filing to the Date of Approval of Citizenship

*Marriage to U.S. citizen (USC)

*Must Reside Continuously in the U.S. from the Date of Filing to Admission to Citizenship—INA §316(a)(2)

In order to naturalize, the lawful permanent resident must establish both “continuous residence” and “physical presence” in the US prior to applying for naturalization. These concepts can be confusing for many individuals. Continuous presence is the maintenance of residence in the US over a period of time based on an individual’s actual place of abode or dwelling. US immigration laws require lawful permanent residents to maintain such continuous residence in order to avoid a finding of abandonment of residence.

For naturalization purposes, the lawful permanent resident must at least show five (5) years of continuous residence (three years if the permanent residence was acquired through marriage to a US Citizen or through VAWA)

The common issue that often arises is whether there has been continuity of residence since the foreign national received his or her permanent residence and whether he or she had interrupted this residence throughout this time. It is important to note that the physical presence requirement is normally determined at the time the application for naturalization is filed in terms of how many days the foreign national was in and out of the United States.

Factors that may establish continuity of residence include: (a) not terminating employment in U.S.; (b) presence of immediate family in U.S.; (c) retention of full access to U.S. home; – the letter (c) was transformed into © and (d) not obtaining employment abroad. 8 CFR §316.5(c)(1)(i)(A)–(D). An absence of one year or more “shall” disrupt the continuity of residence 8 CFR §316.5(c)(1)(ii), even where the applicant had a reentry permit.

If you believe you may have an issue with maintaining continuity of residence, contact one of our competent immigration attorneys to discuss your case. The disruption of residence may become an issue in the naturalization application process even if it happened many years before the filing of the naturalization application.


66 W Flagler St 9th Floor, Miami, Florida 33130

Phone Number

Open Hours

Weekdays : 9AM - 5PM
Weekend   :  Closed

Contact Form