Will USCIS consider circumstantial evidence that I have met certain guidelines?


Circumstantial evidence may be used to establish the following guidelines and factual showings if available documentary evidence is insufficient or lacking. This means it shows that you:

  • were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
  • came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • satisfy the five-year continuous residence requirement, as long as you present direct evidence of your continued residence in the United States for a portion of the required five-year period and the circumstantial evidence is used only to fill in gaps in the length of continuous residence demonstrated by the direct evidence; and
  • Any travel outside the United States during the five years of required continuous presence was brief, casual, and innocent.

However, USCIS will not accept circumstantial evidence as proof of any of the following guidelines to demonstrate that you:

  • Were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012; and
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.

For example, let’s say you do not have documentary proof of your presence in the United States on June 15, 2012. You may nevertheless be able to satisfy the guideline circumstantially by submitting credible documentary evidence that you were present in the United States shortly before and shortly after June 15, 2012. Under the facts presented this may give rise to an inference of your presence on June 15, 2012, as well. However, circumstantial evidence will not be accepted to establish that you have graduated high school. You must submit direct documentary evidence to satisfy that you meet this guideline.

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