Part 9. Time Outside the United States.
This information is designed to determine that the applicant has fit the U.S. residence and physical presence requirements for naturalization. Many people have traveled and or have been absent from the United States. If you have long absences, or if you have traveled a great deal, USCIS will want to make sure that you meet the continuous residence and physical presence requirements. If you have been absent from the U.S. for long periods of time without obtaining permission to preserve foreign residence and without a reentry permit (which only establishes a rebuttable presumption of preserved residence), USCIS could conceivably conclude that you abandoned your permanent residence and pursue deportation and/or revocation of adjustment of status, in which case filing the naturalization in the first place might not be wise. Otherwise, USCIS might determine that a break in residence started over the five-year period necessary for naturalization eligibility.
If you were outside of the United States for more than one continuous year (365 consecutive days) during the statutory period, you have broken your continuous residence. You must wait until you have accrued the five (or three) years of continuous residence before you can apply for citizenship. If you were outside of the United States for more than six consecutive months, but less than one year, the USCIS officer will want to know why you were abroad for so long. You must attach additional proof that you did not intend to abandon your residence. You must have also been physically present in the United States for at least half of the time during the statutory period. That means you must have been physically present at least 913 days in the last five years (or 548 days in the last three years.) The law allows exceptions for some religious workers, seamen, people serving in the military, and people working for the U.S. government abroad.
Part 9.1 Calculate and write the total number of days you were outside of the United States during the last five years (this may be easiest to do once you have completed Part 9, Question 3 of the N-400). Count the days of every trip that lasted 24 hours or longer.
Part 9.2 Write the number of trips you have taken outside the United States during the last five years.
Part 9.3 Make your best effort to provide the requested information for every trip that you have taken outside the United States during the last five years. Begin with your most recent trip and work your way back in time. Use the stamps in your passport to help you. If you are not sure about the dates or duration of a trip, say so by writing ‘approximately’. If you do not know all your trip dates because you travel outside of the United States frequently, attach a separate sheet of paper with a statement explaining where you travel and how often. Include the estimated number of days you were outside the United States. If you need additional space to list all of your trips, attach a separate sheet of paper, and provide all the information requested. Make sure to write the Application Part and question number you are responding to as well as the date, your full name and A number and sign the sheet.