Continuous Residency Requirement #usa #general


In Dec. 1894, an immigramt disembarked in NY, from Russia via Liverpool. Sometime before 1897. he returned to Russia. I don't know how long he was there, but in 1897 he returned, this time "immigrating for the first time" to Boston. He immediately returned to to New York and filed his Declaration of Intention (First Papers) to seek citizenship. In this document, he gave the 1894 immigration date as his first entry, and provided the ship name. My question is why he would say, at the second entry, that this was his first entry to the U.S. My guess is that he may have thought that his length of time out of the U.S. would have negated his first entry date and that the residency requirement clock would be reset.

Does anyone know what was the continuous residency requirement in 1897?

J. E Lipmanson

Stephen Weinstein

Maybe he didn't want to be asked about when he first entered, where he had been living in the U.S., why he returned to Russia, etc.

Or maybe he had gotten into some sort of legal or financial or other trouble when in the U.S. previously and didn't want the immigration authorities to alert his creditors, abandoned wife, the police, etc., that he had returned.  Or just didn't think they'd let him into the U.S. a second time if they were aware of what had happened the first time.

My grandfather told me that his father entered the U.S., returned to what would have been Russia then (Belarus today), went to the U.S. again, and believing that he wouldn't be admitted again under the same name, used the name of the person ahead of him on line who had just been admitted under that name.  Some details of this story don't make sense (for example, he would have been asked his name before he knew whether person ahead of him on line was admitted), but he really did enter under the name that my grandfather said had been his birthname.  (My grandfather said the reason for the name change was because his father had traveled back and forth several times and didn't think he'd get in again if he kept using the same name, but I think that no one would have known, because they didn't keep track; the records were indexed or computerized, so they couldn't tell how many times a person had entered.)

Emily Rosenberg

I always wonder how immigrants, then and now , had time and money to travel back and forth. I understand going for a bride and maybe some successful traders going back and forth but who else goes and what is it like for them ?  Any stories welcome.