Overseas travel beyond 5 years

Angela writes, "Unlike most other permanent residents who might apply for naturalization fairly quickly after 3 or 5 years, for a variety of personal reasons, I have waited almost 20 years.  During that time, I have traveled extensively on business and leisure and failed to keep detailed travel records.  If I were to start compiling that information, I will go nuts and will probably take me weeks to pull together some estimates of those trips considering that being an EU citizens my passport has no stamps for many trips and I have shredded credit card receipts/trip paperwork and even changed an email address after it was hacked.  What should I do?"

Well, it is absolutely critical that you provide the USCIS with the best possible information for trips taken during last five years since that can determine whether you are even eligible for naturalization.  Beyond that period, you will need to come up with whatever information you can.  USCIS is particularly interested if you took a trip lasting more than one year and so long you do not have such a trip, you are okay.  If you do, you may need a good attorney to fix your situation.  It is generally believed that the agency does have all this information in their database but it is not easy to retrieve for travel in the past.  That is why USCIS puts the onus on you to prove that you have maintained strong ties to the United States since becoming a permanent resident.

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