What are the continuous residence requirements for naturalization for EB-5 green card holders?
Once an EB-5 investor has been granted conditional permanent resident status, they must adhere to certain continuous residence requirements to maintain status and prepare for future naturalization.
Continuous Residence Requirement
The continuous residence requirements for an EB-5 investor are the same as they apply to any green card holder: Generally, an individual must have accrued at least five years of continuous residence in the U.S. to become eligible for naturalization. Furthermore, the green card holder should not be physically outside of the United States for any longer than 6 months; the expectation of an absence exceeding one year would mandate the acquisition of a reentry permit. The other basis for fulfilling the continuous residence requirement is being the eligible spouse of a U.S. citizen and having resided continuously in the U.S. for three years.
It is important to distinguish between the continuous residence requirement and the physical presence requirement. While the two are interrelated, they are separate requirements and both must be satisfied for any given individual to qualify for naturalization. The physical presence requirement can be met by either (i) being physically present in the U.S. for 30 months during the aforementioned five year period prior to application or (ii) being physically present in the U.S. for 18 months during the aforementioned three year period prior to application as the eligible spouse of a U.S. citizen.
When assessing an applicant’s compliance to the continuous residence requirement, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will examine the entire period of the green card holder’s lawful permanent residency, from the admission of LPR status to the present.
In the case an applicant has been physically absent from the United States for longer than six months but less than one year, they may be able to overcome the presumption of a break in the continuity of their residence. To do so, they must submit documentation that proves the following: During the absence, (i) the green card holder did not end their employment in the U.S. or acquire a new job while overseas, (ii) the green card holder’s immediate family members remained in the U.S. and (iii) the green card holder continued to have access to a home in the U.S.