Can I Go Abroad After Applying for Citizenship?
Travel is permissible during the time in which you are applying for U.S. naturalization. There are no travel restrictions after filling out Form N-400, which is the Application for Naturalization. That’s because, as a green card holder, you are already a permanent resident, which allows you to travel abroad while your application is pending.
Requirements to Note Before Traveling During the Naturalization Process
While you travel abroad, you must fulfill continuous residence and physical presence requirements, and the length of your travel is another factor to consider, especially if you are traveling outside the country. Therefore, although generally speaking Permanent Residents can travel outside the U.S., it is advisable to consult with an immigration lawyer prior to potentially traveling.
You must also remember to attend 3 essential naturalization appointments during the process, so it does not disrupt the N-400 processing timeline. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will schedule you for a biometrics appointment within a few weeks of filing your application for citizenship, and the next appointment will be several months after that: the naturalization interview. Finally, once approved, you will need to go to an oath ceremony to officially become a U.S. citizen. While you can reschedule these appointments, it can significantly delay your naturalization process and USCIS may be more likely to deny your application if you simply ignore appointment notices.
An immigration attorney will likely tell you it is wise to remain in the country during your naturalization process, even though you are allowed to leave if there is a genuine reason. Remember to keep your appointment when you get back to the United States for your naturalization interview. Moreover, it is always best to have the assistance of a competent immigration attorney when applying for naturalization to assist with the forms, checklist of documents, submit the application together with a legal cover letter, monitor the case and prepare for and represent you at any naturalization interview.
If you still have questions about travel and the naturalization process, consult with an attorney at The Modi Law Firm PLLC in Houston. We look forward to hearing from you. Simply call (832) 514-4030 or contact us online for a swift response.