USCIS to Automatically Extend Green Cards for New Naturalization Applicants

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N-400 Naturalization application

The USCIS recently announced that it is updating its policy regarding the extension of Green Cards for new naturalization applicants.

Going forward, a naturalization applicant will automatically receive a 24-month extension of their lawful permanent residence status, which will be evidenced on the N-400 receipt notice. The benefit of this update is that a naturalization applicant will no longer have to submit an application to extend their lawful permanent residence status if their Green Card is due to expire while the naturalization application is pending.

This update will save naturalization applicants with expiring Green Cards time, money and effort, as they will no longer be required to submit an I-90 application. Additionally, it should also free up USCIS resources as the number of I-90 applications that need to be processed will be reduced.

Here are some of the questions you may have regarding the recent update:

When does the ruling take effect?

The ruling took effect yesterday, December 12, 2022, and will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. This means that anyone who files Form N-400 on or after December 12, 2022, will receive an automatic 24-month extension of their lawful permanent residence status and will no longer have to file Form I-90 if their green card is set to expire during the naturalization process.

That said, those who have filed Form N-400 prior to December 12, 2022, will still have to file Form I-90 in most cases (or receive an ADIT stamp in their passport) to continue to have a valid form of proof of lawful permanent resident status here in the United States.

What if I lose my Green Card?

Even if you file form N-400 after December 12, 2022, and you qualify for the automatic extension, if you lose your Green Card afterward, you will have to file Form I-90 to replace your Green Card. This is because all lawful permanent residents are required to have proof of their LPR status on their person at all times. If you’re found without your Green Card for some reason, you may be subject to criminal prosecution under INA 264(e).

If you have any further questions about this recent change, or you are currently facing any other immigration-related matter, please do not hesitate to reach out to a seasoned NYC immigration lawyer at Lightman Law Firm for help. Our firm has decades of combined experience representing clients facing the gamut of immigration issues, and we are here to put that experience to work for you as well.