USCIS POLICY ALERT: Preserving Continuous Residence and Physical Presence for Purposes of Naturalization while Engaged in Religious Duties Outside the United States

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.