Am I Allowed to Travel After I Applied for Citizenship?

visa applicationYou have long wanted to live and work in the United States. You have been in the country for a number of years and made a life here. You are ever closer to your dream of becoming a U.S. citizen. You meet all the eligibility requirements and have sent in your application. Now, it is only a matter of waiting for a decision. 

In the meantime, you still have family and friends in your country of origin. Any number of events and incidents may require you to return for a visit. A marriage, death, birth, or other events in your home country may compel you to travel there. The nature of your job may also give you a valid reason to travel. If you must travel to an overseas destination while your citizenship application is still pending, it is important to know whether it will compromise the ultimate decision. 

You should speak to a family immigration lawyer before you do any such traveling. Do not depend on rumors or the opinions of friends, family members, and other immigrants. You should even be skeptical of what you find on the Internet, as the information from some sources may be out of date. Immigration lawyers Lakeland FL are the only ones who can give you the advice and counsel you require to make the decision on whether to travel. 

An Answer to the Basic Question 

The question is: can you go abroad after applying for citizenship. The answer is: yes, you can travel while your citizenship application is being processed. After you have filled out Form N-400, you will be allowed to travel. Why? Because in order to be eligible for naturalization you must already be a green card holder—that is, a permanent resident. This status allows you to travel even if you were not going through the naturalization process. 

What You Should Know Before Traveling 

Traveling abroad means just that: traveling. You must maintain a continuous residence, and the length of time you can be outside of the country is also limited. You must adhere to the physical presence requirements to remain eligible for naturalization. An immigration lawyer near Tampa Bay can inform you of them. 

You must arrange your travel so that it does not disrupt the schedule of events in the processing of your N-400 application. You are required to attend 2 essential naturalization appointments during the process. You will need to get your biometric data taken within a few weeks of filing your application for citizenship. You will be scheduled for another appointment several months after that, which is your naturalization interview. 

It is possible to reschedule these appointments, but doing so can significantly delay the naturalization process. You should keep in mind, however, that USCIS is likely to reject your application if you miss any of these appointments or ignore appointment notices. 

Your immigration lawyer Lakeland may advise you that it is better to remain in the country during your naturalization process even if you have pressing business outside of it. They will encourage you to reschedule your trip, if possible until you receive a decision on your citizenship application. 

You Should Seek Legal Help 

Indeed, it is better to apply for citizenship with the help, advice, and assistance of a lawyer Lakeland Florida. You can increase the chances of a successful application by working with a competent attorney. Such a lawyer can assist you with the forms and checklist of documents. An attorney can help you submit the application, help monitor the case, and be your advocate during the naturalization interview. 

Before you go abroad, you should speak to the immigration attorneys Tampa FL at Espinoza Law Offices.