I'm trying to find the best option to be able to stay outside for the maximum allowed time and under the six-month limit (re-entry is not preferred since it will delay my citizenship). From another answer, I quote.

There are also legal implications if you stay away for more than six months.

Last Trip: My last trip was from May 02, 2021 to June 20, 2021 (49 48 days, see calculation at timeanddate).

Upcoming Trip: I have to leave again this year on March 1, 2022 (flexible departure). I assume I'm still within the year cycle.

Option 1: I leave abroad for 11 days and return (total of 60 days/year). I wait for June 20 for the clock to reset, and I take another trip while staying abroad for under six months.

Option 2: I can leave on March 1st but then return on June 20 (last year's return date), making a total of 160 days/year (5.3 months).

Since I'm not sure how the clock works and when it resets, I'm finding it hard to plan an itinerary.

Lateral thinking? I'd highly appreciate if you can suggest me an itinerary.


I'll be prepared to have the evidence just in case on the return. Just more insights.

  1. Documents for car export from the UK and import into Pakistan. I'll be driving it out via Europe, with brief stays on the way for sightseeing. UK,Europe,Turkey,Pakistan can take 2-3 months. The car was recently purchased from the UK for the export to Pakistan for family use or personal use whenever I visit there. The units built or sold there are not safe. I do have a vehicle in the US under my organization's name.

  2. I'll be working remotely for my job and want to only drive few hours each day. about 6-8 hours of work and 4 hours of drive.

  3. Two-month training back in Pakistan for import and export, which is related to my newly found company in the US. I will bring back certificates.

  4. I have both employment-based income and a salary from my US company. I can keep a copy of the quarterly tax payment checks from my own company but don't know what to show as withholding from the employer's paycheck.

  5. I recently renewed my lease in the US (Dec 2021). I will keep a copy.

  6. My family is based in Pakistan.

  • 1
    Why are you trying to avoid the "legal implications" from the quote? Do you even know what they are?
    – user102008
    Jan 12, 2022 at 7:58
  • Why do you have a car in the UK if you are a US resident? Where is the leased property mentioned in item 5?
    – phoog
    Jan 13, 2022 at 9:34
  • Edited, leased apartment is in the US. The car was purchased recently from UK, so I can import into Pakistan for family use or personal use whenever I visit. The cars assembled or built there are not safe. I have a vehicle in the US too but under my organization name (non-profit). Jan 13, 2022 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


Since I'm not sure how the clock works and when it resets, I'm finding it hard to plan an itinerary.

The rule is about staying 180 days abroad continuously. It's not about staying less than 180 days abroad per year.

Note that whatever you do, the US immigration officers have the discretion to interpret the rule whichever way they want. E.g., staying 5 months abroad, coming back to the US for a few days, and going abroad again for 5 months may not be appreciated (e.g., may fail the continuous residence requirement test).


  • 1
    So essentially clock reset upon return, and I guess one then has to stay a minimum of 183 days (tax residency) before leaving again. (it may not be appreciated and I may not do it but just checking if it's possible) Jan 12, 2022 at 0:55
  • 1
    @AppDeveloper see the last link in my answer. Jan 12, 2022 at 1:10
  • 1
    @AppDeveloper there are two entirely different things going on here. One is that if you stay outside the US for longer than 180 days, you are considered to be an "applicant for admission" when you return. If you are away for 180 days or fewer, then you probably aren't considered to be an applicant for admission, though there are several other factors that could cause you to be considered as such, including engaging in illegal activity while outside the US. See 8 USC 1101(a)(13)(C).
    – phoog
    Jan 12, 2022 at 9:56
  • 2
    @AppDeveloper being an applicant for admission has virtually no impact on you, but that is the "legal implication" that I had in mind when I answered the question you link to, and that is the matter that is discussed in the opening paragraph of this answer. The other thing is the delay of naturalization because of failure to meet the continuity of residence requirement. Your question seems to be about this (you say "since it will delay my citizenship"). Here, the threshold is "six months," not 180 days, and, as this answer notes, officers have discretion to disregard brief stays in the US.
    – phoog
    Jan 12, 2022 at 10:08
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    @AppDeveloper that stamp would lead to additional scrutiny on the next entry to the US, especially if it is relatively soon after the date on the stamp. Whether the continuity of residence would be interrupted depends on an analysis of the facts in each case. In your case, you're talking about 48 days of absence (not 49) and then 255 days of presence and then up to 110 days of absence. Nothing here is anywhere close to requiring a delay in your naturalization. But whether you would have to delay your naturalization also depends on your travels between June 2022 and your naturalization date.
    – phoog
    Jan 13, 2022 at 9:32

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