If you are filing Form N-400 as a lawful permanent resident who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen employed abroad, you must submit evidence of your intent to accompany your spouse abroad and then return to the U.S. upon the termination of employment. This article will help you create a declaration of intent to reside abroad.
The statute (8 CFR 319.2(a)(4)) requires the naturalization applicant to have a good faith intent:
- To reside abroad with the U.S. citizen spouse upon naturalization; and
- To reside in the United States immediately upon the citizen spouse’s termination of employment abroad.
In fact, the USCIS policy manual states that the “applicant for naturalization under INA 319(b) must submit a statement describing his or her intent to reside abroad with the citizen spouse and his or her intent to take up residence within the United States immediately upon the termination of such employment abroad of the citizen spouse.”
The applicant can demonstrate evidence of intent with a declaration of intent to reside abroad.
As the permanent resident spouse of a U.S. citizen employed abroad, you are eligible for expedited citizenship. Most permanent residents must wait five years before applying for U.S. citizenship through naturalization. The spouse of a U.S. citizen with qualifying employment outside the U.S. is eligible for expedited citizenship. The continuous residence and physical presence requirements do not apply. In theory, an applicant for naturalization under INA 319(b) may file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, immediately after becoming a permanent resident.
USCIS wants reassurance (in the form of a good faith declaration) that the applicant is filing Form N-400 because he or she wants to accompany a U.S. spouse abroad. In other words, USCIS wants evidence that the applicant is not trying to circumvent immigration laws for the purpose of obtaining expedited U.S. citizenship.
Sample Declaration of Intent to Reside Abroad
The declaration is a letter that addresses each of the above requirements. Your declaration can be a simple statement of your intent to accompany your U.S. citizen spouse abroad and then return upon the completion of the employment.
CitizenPath has a downloadable sample declaration that you can use as an example for creating your own statement. The N-400 applicant is the person who must meet these requirements. Therefore, the applicant should write the declaration in his or her own words. It’s not necessary to sign in front of a notary or obtain a notarized signature. Include a sworn statement at the end of the declaration that swears to the truth of the statement.