I have left the US for one year thus breaking my continuous residence. After that year, I stayed for 4 and half years in the US. Given that I am a green card holder and have applied for citizenship. Now USCIS requires me to provide evidence that I did not break my continuous residence. My question: Can I tell USCIS that the rule (4 years and one day) applies to me, and therefore I do not need to provide evidence?
USCIS has recently clarified the rules regarding how long you have to wait after interrupting continuous residence before you can apply for naturalization. See the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12 Part D Chapter 3 section C. In particular, for an absence of more than 1 year, you have to wait either 4 years + 1 day or 4 years + 6 months, depending on whether you can present the same level of evidence that would overcome the presumption of interrupting continuous residence for someone who was absent for between 6 months and 1 year.
If you have enough evidence that would be sufficient to overcome the presumption of interrupting continuous residence if you had hypothetically been absent for between 6 months and 1 year, then after your absence of more than 1 year, you would have to wait 4 years + 1 day after you came back. If you do not have such evidence, then you would have to wait until 4 years + 6 months after you came back (the same wait as someone who was absent for between 6 months and 1 year and was unable to overcome the presumption of interrupting continuous residence).