Effective Tuesday, December 12, 2022, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its Policy Manual to allow USCIS to automatically extend the validity of Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards) for lawful permanent residents (LPR) who have applied for naturalization. This USCIS policy update is intended to help immigrants with lawful permanent resident status who may face longer processing times and delays, granting them an automatic extension of their Green Card for up to 24 months.
Permanent residents who have properly filed Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, in an effort to become a naturalized U.S citizen may receive this extension regardless of whether they filed Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Under previous policy, Green Card holders who applied for naturalization at least six months prior to the expiration of their Green Card would be eligible to get their passport stamped with an Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp, which provided temporary proof of their LPR status.
This Green Card policy update follows a USCIS update in September of 2022 that extended the validity of Form I-90 Green Card renewals from 12 months to 24 months. Both changes are intended to alleviate some of the pressure on USCIS and the immigration courts, which have faced significant backlogs and processing delays.
Who Is Eligible For Automatic Green Card Extensions?
Applicants who file Form N-400 on or after December 12, 2022 will receive the extension automatically, as noted in their updated N-400 receipt notice. This receipt, presented along with the expired green card and an identity document, serves as proof of eligibility for employment.
What If I Filed Form N-400 BEFORE 12/12?
Lawful permanent residents who filed their Form N-400 before December 12, 2022 will not receive the extension in their receipt notice. They must generally file Form I-90 or get an ADIT stamp in their passport to cover any gaps in the event their Green Card expires.
Do I Still Need To File Form I-90?
In some cases, filing Form I-90 is prudent, and may be required if you have not received the Form N-400 receipt notice with the updated language. An immigration attorney will be able to advise on individual applications.
Next Steps: Form N-400
If you are a lawful permanent resident and intend to file Form N-400 to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, we recommend consulting with an immigration specialist to make sure you have the best chance of success. Our team is comprised of some of the best immigration attorneys in the country, who can guide you through your legal options. Contact us today to hear more about our services and what we can do for you.