N-400 After RFE Showing Proof of Residency
Challenges: Applicant: Julie*
Case: Naturalization, N-400, RFE
- Julie had spent two years outside of the U.S. for educational reasons
- USCIS demanded evidence that Julie had not abandoned her U.S. residency
Julie had been a legal resident in the United States for several years, living with her aunt in California since she was in junior high. When she was 20 years old, she decided that now was the time she could finally become a full citizen, so in the spring of 2017, she applied for naturalization. But for seemingly no reason, USCIS denied her request, and demanded evidence that she was physically residing in the U.S. and had not abandoned her residency. If she could not provide this proof, not only would her request for citizenship be denied, but her green card would not be renewed and she would be deported back to China.
Desperate and distraught, Julie turned to Tsang & Associates for help. She was a model citizen, who had never broken any law and always performed at the top of her class, so the fact that she was facing rejection distressed her greatly. She had done everything right, why was this happening? Julie did not want to lose the life she had built here, the only life she had ever really known, and we were determined not to let that happen either.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Our team immediately set out collecting evidence that Julie had never abandoned her residency. We presented several items for USCIS’ consideration, including:
- School transcripts from Sierra Canyon School in Southern California
- Her California driver’s license
- Her permanent address
- Documents on her legal guardian
- Tax forms from 2011-2016 listing her as a dependent each year
- Transcripts from junior high school in China that shows she was only there for education.
- Transcripts from undergrad courses in New York showing US residency.
- A letter from Julie’s US citizen aunt testifying that her niece had lived with her for years and that the two of them had developed a close bond.
We also showed that ever since 2013, Julie had been physically present in the United States, only leaving for short vacations, thus meeting the “4 years and 1 day” requirement for citizenship application.
Even with all this evidence, USCIS would not budge. They were primarily concerned about her trip to Taiwan and Japan when she was 14, which lasted over a year. Our team argued persuasively that this trip was only for educational purposes and did not represent an abandonment of residency. To demonstrate this, we pointed out that Julie never applied for employment while over, and maintained family relationships and an abode in the U.S. In addition, at the time, she was granted a re-entry permit, which shows that her time in Taiwan was not considered a problem when it happened. Finally, our firm argued that it would be an unjust waste of government resources to deny Julie citizenship and compel her to refile her case, given all the evidence proving that she maintained residency for 5 years straight.
After considering the evidence we presented and hearing our argument in Julie’s favor, USCIS relented and eventually granted her request for citizenship. Julie was ecstatic at the decision and immediately told her family the good news. She was so grateful that she could finally call herself a full citizen of the country she loved.