Effective December 12, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has automatically extended the validity of Permanent Resident Cards or green cards for individuals who are seeking naturalization. USCIS finds this extension necessary as many naturalization applicants are experiencing longer than normal processing times for their naturalization applications. This extension allows them to extend their lawful permanent resident (LPR) status without filing a Form I-90 – Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Green Card). This change in policy will apply to all LPRs who file Form N-400 – Application for Naturalization on or after December 12, 2022.
USCIS will update the receipt notices for Form N-400 to reflect that green cards for applicants are extended for up to 24 months. Therefore, individuals can present their expired green cards, along with their Form N-400 receipt notices as evidence of continued legal status, within 24 months of the date of the receipt notices.
Since this policy change is not retroactive, all LPRs who filed for naturalization before December 12, 2022, will not receive a Form N-400 receipt notice with a 24-month green card extension. Therefore, if their green cards expire, these individuals generally will need to file Form I-90 or receive an Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp in their passport to maintain evidence of their lawful permanent resident status. Additionally, individuals who lose their green cards still must carry their Forms I-90 with them, even if they received the automatic extension, because noncitizens must carry proof of registration on their person at all times.
Before this policy change, naturalization applicants who failed to apply for naturalization at least six months before the date that their green cards expired had to file Form I-90 to maintain proper documentation of their legal status. However, if they filed applications for naturalization six months or more before their green card expiration date, they were eligible to receive an ADIT stamp on their passports to serve as temporary evidence of their LPR status. This policy was based on a Form N-400 processing time of 180 days. The new policy reflects the currently longer processing time for Forms N-400.
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