HomeFaqsHow does time outside the U.S. count and how are you supposed to state it in the N-400 form?

How does time outside the U.S. count and how are you supposed to state it in the N-400 form?

The fact is that naturalization requires precise information about your time spent outside America to figure out whether you suit the requirements set for Continuous residence and physical presence by the authorities. It is obvious that such details can be accessed by the system but this is yet another test to find out how decent you are.

Part 9 of Form N-400, requires that you provide all the information available on each and every trip outside the USA which exceeded 24 hours, enhancing the period past 5 years. You are supposed to state all the trips longer than 24 hours with precise dates included, also you need to write down the number of days you were out of the country during each journey. In case you visited more than one country before coming back to the US it is considered to be one trip.

This is the precise guidance on how to fill Part 9 “Time Outside the United States” out:

  • State the total number of days you were outside the USA with 5 past years.
  • State the total amount of trips you have been one over the past 5 years.
  • State the complete information on every trips starting with the last one and going back as far as the past 5 years.

The truth is that the form itself provides room for only six trips, so if you have more than that you will need to attach an additional sheet of paper and list them in the provided manner.

You need to keep it in mind that if you spend too much time outside the country this may affect you not in the best way possible.


Try to avoid single trips that are longer than half a year in total.

Try to avoid trips that may add up to the half of the required residence period (30 months - 5-year permanent resident, 18 months - a 3-year permanent resident married to a U.S. citizen)

March 4, 2019

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