How do I document time spent outside the U.S. on Form N-400?


N-400, Application for Naturalization, Part 9 requires applicants to list each trip of 24 hours or more that was made outside the United States over the previous 5 years.

Write the total number of days you spent outside of the United States (including military service) during the last five years. Count the days of every trip (including trips to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean) that lasted 24 hours or longer.

If you are having trouble remembering the dates of travel, read How to Find Travel Records.

Why USCIS Requires This Information

USCIS wants information about your time spent outside the U.S. to determine your continuous residence and intent to become a U.S. citizen. An extensive absence from the U.S. raises a presumption that continuity of residence has been interrupted.

What is an Extensive Absence

An extensive absence could come in the form of one long trip or the combined days from several trips outside the U.S. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Avoid any single trip outside the U.S. that lasts 6 months or longer
  • Avoid cumulative trips that add up to at least half of the required residence period (30 months for a 5-year permanent resident or 18 months for a 3-year permanent resident married to a U.S. citizen).

Be Honest

However, it is also very important that you honestly and completely account for all your trips that lasted at least 24 hours outside the U.S. over the past 5 years. If you have spent a significant number of days outside the U.S. (over 180 days), CitizenPath recommends that you consult with an attorney before completing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

What if I have too many trips and I can't remember them all?

Source: USCIS


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