Reminder: Comments Due on USCIS Policy Alert on Preserving Continuous Residence and Physical Presence While Engaged in Religious Duties Outside the United States

USCIS updated policy guidance in the Policy Manual regarding preservation of continuous residence and physical presence for naturalization purposes for applicants outside the United States in a qualifying religious vocation under §317 of the INA. The guidance is effective immediately. Comments are due June 25, 2021.

Policy Highlights

  • Specifies that applicants engaged outside the United States in a qualifying religious vocation provided under INA 317 must file an Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes (Form N-470) with USCIS to have time outside the United States considered towards the continuous residence and physical presence requirements.
  • Clarifies that such applicants may file the Form N-470 before, during, or after an absence from the United States, even if the absence lasted for more than 1 year.
  • Clarifies that such applicants may establish 1 year of uninterrupted physical presence at any time before filing the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) and need not comply with this requirement before filing Form N-470.

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Cite as AILA Doc. No. 21052530.

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