USCIS Reveals New Policy Automatically Extending Green Cards for Naturalization Applicants Starting December 12, 2022


We start off the week with some exciting news for naturalization applicants filing N-400, Application for Naturalization.

On December 9, 2022, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced new updates to its policy guidance including a new procedure that will allow USCIS to automatically extend the validity of a Permanent Resident Card for a period of 24-months, through the issuance of an N-400 Application for Naturalization, receipt notice. This means that generally Permanent Residents with a pending N-400 Application, will no longer need to file Form I-90 to renew their green cards.

This policy is effective as of today, Monday, December 12, 2022, and applies to all applications filed on or after December 12, 2022.

Lawful permanent residents who filed for N-400 naturalization PRIOR to December 12, 2022, will NOT receive an N-400 receipt notice with the 24-month extension, and will be required to file Form I-90 if their green card expires, or request an appointment to receive an ADIT stamp in their passport to maintain valid evidence of their status as required under the law.

What You Need to Know

Previously, naturalization applicants who did not apply for naturalization at least six months before the expiration date on their green cards needed to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, (green card) to maintain proper documentation of their lawful status.

Applicants who applied for naturalization at least six months prior to their green card expiration were eligible to request an appointment to receive an Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp in their passport, which served as temporary evidence of their LPR status.

This policy is no more.

Beginning today, Monday, December 12, 2022, a Form N-400 receipt notice will provide an automatic 24-month extension of the permanent resident card and serves as valid, unexpired evidence of permanent resident status, when presented along with the LPR’s expired green card.

Due to the automatic 24-month extension provided by their receipt notice, generally naturalization applicants will no longer need to file Form I-90 while their Form N-400 is pending.

However, please note that naturalization applicants who have lost their green cards must still file Form I-90, even if they have applied for naturalization on or after December 12th and received the automatic 24-month extension. This is because of  the legal requirement that mandates permanent residents to  carry proof of permanent residence at all times.

Why the change?

Due to overwhelming demand from the public for an automatic extension of permanent resident cards due to the long processing times for naturalization, USCIS updated its policy to now include an automatic extension of permanent resident cards for 24 months from the expiration date listed on the card. Form N-400 Notice of Action (Form I-797) will include language reflecting this 24-month automatic extension for N-400 filings beginning on December 12, 2022.

USCIS has said that this action will help reduce backlogs by limiting the amount of people in need of ADIT stamps at field offices and reduce the volume of Form I-90 filings.

What can I show as evidence of my LPR status?

With this change, permanent residents can show their 24-month extension on the Form N-400 receipt notice along with their expired permanent resident card, as proof of their permanent resident status and employment authorization under List A of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9), if these documents are presented before the expiration of the 24-month extension period provided in the N-400 receipt notice.

For more information about this policy change please click here.

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