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N400 Citizenship with 2 years of re-entry permit

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Posted by deag (27) 10 Sep 2015#1
Hello,

I received my Greencard in Dec 2012. Starting August, 2013 I have been outside the US (lived in Australia) for job purposes. I am returning to US on 30 Sep 2015(have been outside US for about 2 years though visited a few times).

My question is: what is the earliest month/year that I will become eligible to apply for citizenship. Do I have to spend extra 2 years in the US to makeup for the time I spent outside US?
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Posted by Lordsaroman (34) 14 Sep 2015#2
to deag:

Chances are, you actually have to wait 4 years and one day after you come back to US to be eligible to apply for Citizenship.
However, there might be some circumstances that you would be still eligible:

What address did you report to USCIS when you were living outside to US? Was it a US address or AU address?
How many trips you had to US when u had Re-Entry during that 2 years?
Were you outside of US more than 6 months at any period of time?
Did you get paid in US dollars?
Did you get paid to a US Bank account?
Did you file taxes with IRS as US Residence at all times?
Did you maintain a US address at all these time?
Did you maintain your US Credit Cards, loans, etc during that 2 years?
Do you have any evidence you were living in US for that 2 years?
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Posted by deag (27) 14 Sep 2015#3
to Lordsaroman:

What address did you report to USCIS when you were living outside to US? Was it a US address or AU address?
Still on US address though filed taxes as an Expat since my salary was in foreign currency.

How many trips you had to US when u had Re-Entry during that 2 years?
Made three trips with more than 6 months gap between each.

Were you outside of US more than 6 months at any period of time?
Yes, for the most duration was outside US for more than 6 months. Except the last one when I visited in April.

Did you get paid in US dollars?
No income in USD.

Did you get paid to a US Bank account?
No. Foreign bank account.

Did you file taxes with IRS as US Residence at all times?
All taxes filed as an Expat.

Did you maintain a US address at all these time?
Maintained US address all the time. USCIS still has my relatives address.

Did you maintain your US Credit Cards, loans, etc during that 2 years?
Yes, have had US credit cards all the time and used them extensively.

Do you have any evidence you were living in US for that 2 years?
Do not have any evidence.
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Posted by adjudicator (2652) 14 Sep 2015#4
to deag:

I guess ur trips were less than 1 yr and more than 6 mo, and thats why u probably did not need a re-entry permit.
Did the USCBP officer ever give u a hard time at the airport when u were coming in?
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Posted by deag (27) 14 Sep 2015#5
to adjudicator:

Yes, trips were more than 6 months but less than 1 year apart. The rules were a bit confusing regarding residency. So applied for Re-entry just to be safe. Yes, always answered the USCBP officer that I worked outside the US and answered "time spent abroad" question correctly.

And yes, they gave me hard time almost always asking all kinds of questions even after showing the re-entry permit book. Due to my location, I almost always land in LAX which is not the best for entry due to CBP questions.

Though this one time, a CBP officer suggested to apply for second re-entry permit if I intend to stay for longer than 2 years!
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Posted by Lordsaroman (34) 14 Sep 2015#6
to deag:

So these items work positive for you:
- You were not outside of US more than 1 yr
- You maintained a US address
- You maintained US Credit cards

And these items are working negatively against you for naturalization purposes:
- You were outside of US for more than 6 months
- You were getting paid in non-US dollar in non-US bank account
- You did not file your taxes as US Resident

If the time goes back I would have recommended to you to make sure you travel to US less than every 6 months (even though you have secured a Re-Entry), you try to get paid in US dollar in US bank account (I know some of my colleagues who moved from US to CN they are getting paid in US dollar in their US account so this is possible) and definitely file tax as US resident (this is extremely important)
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Posted by deag (27) 14 Sep 2015#7
to Lordsaroman:

By negative do you mean that I may become eligible for application after 4 years and 1 day instead of three years from now?

Or do you mean the USCIS may ask more questions and make it difficult during the naturalization? I don't mind waiting an extra year as long as it goes through smoothly.
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Posted by Lordsaroman (34) 14 Sep 2015#8
to deag:

Yes I think you will have much higher chance and smoother process if you wait additional year.
It is also interesting even though you had a Re-Entry permit, the CBP were asking you too many questions. Did you tell the CBP that you "live outside of US" ? Do you remember the exact questions/answers with CBP?
The reason is that all of your answers at that time is being typed and added by CBP to your file and USCIS will be able to have access to them. I noticed this sharing mechanism when I had an interview a few weeks ago with a US CBP and he asked me about my F-1 visa denial 5 years ago at a US Embassy! I am also a green card holder btw now.
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Posted by deag (27) 14 Sep 2015#9
to Lordsaroman:

Don't remember the exact questions but it was definitely long.

Most questions were related to: Which country, why outside US, why so soon after the GC (mine was EB1), what is your intent etc. One time, the officer didn't know what is a re-entry permit was, so consulted his colleague and then let me in.

Worst was when I re-entered into US from canada by road(just a quick trip to canada from US). This officer was a bit joking and at the same time very rude (who rents a mercedes car(was a free upgrade), why living away from wife?, with all the travel thank god you don't have kids etc.) Very frustrating.
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Posted by Lordsaroman (34) 14 Sep 2015#10
to deag:

hmm that's funny and frustrating.
That's exactly why I just applied for NEXUS/GLOBAL ENTRY program to avoid these ridiculous Q&A with CBP officers! I was just got approved a few days ago and I am waiting for my card. I am actually going to be in a same boat probably 5 yeas from now. I have not moved outside of US yet so now I am trying to take any step to make sure I will have a smooth naturalization process in 5 yrs.
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Posted by deag (27) 14 Sep 2015#11
to Lordsaroman:

I thought NEXUS/Global entry was for citizens only. Just realized LPRs can apply for it as well. Is it entirely through machines or a is a CBP officer involved at some stage?

How did your interview go? Is it difficult to get?
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Posted by Lordsaroman (34) 15 Sep 2015#12
to deag:

Yea LPRs can get it too!
Once being approved it is entirely a machine and you no longer have interview each time with a CBP officer.
The interview took a long time. This is supposed to be for Trusted Travelers who passed a very detailed security check. So there are lots of scrutiny to make sure everything is all good before they approve you for this. They pulled out all and everything in my files from the moment I applied for US visa on F-1 and got rejected until now. But we have an expression that says "The first war is better than the last peace" meaning it is always better to go through the difficult parts first and settle, rather than have several back and forth issues down the road!
If you think you are going to have several international business travels this is very good and save your time.
btw, are you on the same employer you used to be on AU now? what about the employer you were with at the time you got your GC?
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Posted by deag (27) 15 Sep 2015#13
to Lordsaroman:

Ya, just got that. Will apply for it once I am stateside. No employer is different though in the same field.

Not sure I completely agree with the expression. If there is an option, it is better to have peace at the beginning and continue it. My attitude is to do the difficult parts first so that path ahead would be clear. Somehow things are not working that well for me! it is one difficulty after another.

Now that you mention it, I actually remember being asked to submit my documents to one of these global entry machines because there was a long line and line for these machines was not that long. It did print a receipt after analysing my Green Card and passport. However, I was asked to submit the receipt to the CBP officer - then it was the same story again with the "residency questions".
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Posted by Lordsaroman (34) 15 Sep 2015#14
to deag:

are you sure it was a "Global Entry" kiosk and not a "Automated Passport Control" kiosk?
Please see the two links below:
http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/photo-gallery/galle...
http://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/automated...

Bc if it is a APC kiosk you still need to go see a CBP officer after you received the receipt. The whole taking pics and scanning passport was just for saving time for the CBP officer so he can directly go straight to the point which is inspecting you instead of spending time on taking pics, fingerprints, scanning passport and etc.

But the Global Entry is a different concept. The whole concept is you do NOT see a CBP officer and once you got the receipt you go straight to the baggage claim. You will not be able to use Global Entry unless you have approved for it and have the card.
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Posted by APgirl (92) 12 Jan 2018#15
to deag:

Can I please have your email address ?

I am in same position as you

Thanks
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Posted by Rextex (164) 12 Jan 2018#16
to APgirl:

Thread is more than 2 years old, I doubt user active anymore.
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Posted by deag (27) 12 Jan 2018#17
to APgirl:

Is there a way I can PM you my email address?
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