The law says:
1. Generally, you must have been physically present and residing in the United States for an uninterrupted period, without any absences, for at least one year after your admission as a lawful permanent resident before you can file Form N-470.
2. You do not have to be in the United States to file Form N-470, but you must file it before you have been absent from the United States for a continuous period of one year.
Religious Workers Exception to the One Year Absence Requirement
Religious workers may apply:
1. Before departing from the United States;
2. After departing from the United States; or
3. After returning to the United States.
Religious workers are not required to have lived in the United States for a specific period of time prior to filing Form N-470.