Frequently Asked Questions - Form N-470

N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

Returning to US from India, after a gap of 3 years
My mother is a green card holder (based on me as an US citizen) and has been living in India for last 3 years as she was working in India and just got retired. She is planning to return to US permanently now. We did not know reentry permit requirements before. Does she need to apply for Returning Resident Visa? If it affects adversely what are other common reasons that can be given as an excuse for long outside US stay?

She should apply for RR (also known as SB-1) visa. Lose the idea of an "excuse." Nothing but the truth. My GUESS is, you are better off surrendering her green card and reapplying.

Reentry permit is it recommended?
My spouse and I am legal permanent resident here in the US for more than 3 years now. We are planning to travel back to India in early December this year and my wife tentatively plans to stay back in India for close to 3-8 months. I am planning to return back after 3 months. In such situation, is it advisable to file re-entry permit (I-131) for her. Also should I get an attorney if I have to file or can I do it on my own?

If you are not abandoning your permanent residence in USA (keeping your home, job, etc.), I see no need for a reentry permit for a three-month trip. She should apply and through counsel.

Reentry permit is not a guarantee
I acquired my green card in January 20, 2010 with an expiry date of 2/23/20. I came back to the Philippines on February 2011. I want to go back to the US next year around March. Do I have a problem?

Generally speaking, a reentry permit is not a guarantee. It is merely an official declaration of your intention not to abandon your green card. Normally, the govt. does not question it. But if there are facts that make them suspect that you either never established or never intend to establish permanent residence in USA, they can take you to immigration court to take away your green card.

GC and Company Involvement
I received my GC in Aug 2008. My company is willing to send me to India office. Does the company need to file for a N470 or can I file for it? Do I need to be employed my US operations or I can be on the parole of India operations?

Company needs to give you a detailed letter and you can work for their India operations.

Eligibility for N-470
In a month I will have lived in the US for one year as PR. My company is sending me to do some work for them overseas. 1. Do I have to eligible for naturalization FIRST before I file N-470? Or is this just for any LP who have lived in the US for an uninterrupted year? 2. Can I file it while I am overseas? 3. Can I file when I come back having lived outside the US for less than a Year? 4. Can I file the application and leave BEFORE I hear back from USCIS? 5. What should my employer write in the supporting documents? 6. What makes my company an American corporation/firm?

1. No, you do not have to be eligible for naturalization.
2. No, you have to file while in USA.
3. No.
4. Yes.


5 and 6 require a lawyer to look over your company's details.

Can my wife use the N-470?
I'm a U.S. citizen working overseas with the U.N. Can my wife (GC holder) use the N-470 to preserve her residency while staying overseas with me?

Yes, she can, as long as she meets the other requirements of N-470.

Form N-470
You stated : "The Form N-470 must be filed before the person departs from the United States except religious workers who may apply before or after departure, or after return to the United States. The religious workers are not required to have lived in the United States for a specific period of time prior to the filing of N-470. Similar exception is granted to alien members of the U.S. Armed Forces. In such cases the LPR employee who filed N-470 is considered physically present in the US during such employment abroad and does not need a reentry permit." Does that mean a religious worker does not have to spend a full one uninterrupted year of physical presence in the US? If a religious worker can apply any time and once approved, all time spent outside of the US will be counted towards his naturalization qualification, it means that religious worker doesn't need to be physically present for a full year at any time prior to applying for his/her citizenship, correct?

The law says:

1. Generally, you must have been physically present and residing in the United States for an uninterrupted period, without any absences, for at least one year after your admission as a lawful permanent resident before you can file Form N-470.

2. You do not have to be in the United States to file Form N-470, but you must file it before you have been absent from the United States for a continuous period of one year.