Many N-400 applicants need to prove their continuous residence in the United States in order to be eligible for citizenship. The Immigration and Nationality Act states that a legal permanent resident must either prove residence on the basis of 5 years for individuals who are not married (i.e. those who did not receive a marriage green card), or for 3 years for those who entered into a bona fide marriage and have since been living together and sharing resources and paying bills together (i.e. a legitimate marriage).
However, there is another category of legal permanent residents that do not need to have 5 years of continuous residence in order to be eligible for naturalization. This category includes:
- Applicants who are at least 18 years or older and have been employed for 5 years or more by a U.S. non-profit organization that principally promotes the interests of the United States abroad through the communications media.
- If you are at least 18 years or older and are the spouse of a U.S. citizen who is a member of the U.S. armed forces, an employee or individual under contract of the U.S. government, an employee of an American institution of research recognized by the Attorney General, an employee of a public international organization of which the U.S. is a member by law or treaty
While the second category has many different positions for applicants that will not need to prove continuous residence, this post will be dedicated to discussing the first—the work of non-profit employees and their N-400 application and procedure.
What kind of non-profits promote American interests?
The non-profit category is interesting because one can find a list of many different types of organizations that are carrying out their missions domestically and internationally, but for the sake of the N-400, the INA specifically requires non-profits that “are promoting the interests of the U.S. through communications media”.
The interests of the U.S. may differ for some groups of people, but what this sentence mostly refers to is fundraising, donations, and grant procedures for lesser developed nations and the work of organizations whose missions are engrained to helping others (despite the measurement of such impacts).
For example, here might be a list of some non-profits that would fit into this category:
- The Atlantic Council
- The Brookings Institute
- Development Gateway
- Henry L. Stimson Center
- The Posner Center
- Rand Corporation (non-profit)
Individuals who believe they may fit into this category based on the INAs interpretation of American interests and the communications component should do some research or ask other staff they work with internally for their judgment. One of the benefits of fitting into this category is that an applicant does not have to as much paperwork and verification when it comes to providing residence history, passport stamps (for entry/exit purposes), and receipts for rental payments (although the USCIS may still ask for current rental agreement contracts or other payment receipts anyways).