What Is the Policy Update for Green Cards for Naturalization Applicants?

green card application

On December 12, 2022, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its policy manual. More specifically, this update will allow the USCIS to automatically extend the validity of the Permanent Resident Cards, otherwise known as green cards, for lawful permanent residents who have applied for naturalization. If you are a naturalization applicant, continue reading to learn more about this USCIS policy update and how an experienced green card lawyer in Milwaukee, WI at Sesini Law Group, S.C., can help you determine what this means for you.

What is the purpose of the USCIS update on green cards for naturalization applicants?

The main purpose of the USCIS update on green cards is to allow naturalization applicants, who commonly experience long processing times, to receive an extension of lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. With this, naturalization applicants may need not file Form I-90, otherwise known as the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.

This update recognizes the USCIS’s current processing times and aims for flexibility and efficiency in the following areas:

  • This update will reduce the number of Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp appointments in USCIS field offices.
  • This update will reduce the number of Form I-90s filed with the USCIS.
  • This update will allow USCIS resources to be focused on other immigration benefit adjudications.

What else is involved in the USCIS update on green cards?

To reiterate, those with LPR status no longer have to file Form I-90. And with that, they may still receive an extension of status so long as they properly file Form N-400, otherwise known as the Application for Naturalization. So, the language on Form N-400 will be edited to express the extension of green cards for up to 24 months. And with the receipt notice of your Form N-400 application, you can now present the following:

  • Your expired green card, which will prove your continued status and your true identity.
  • Your employment authorization documents, which will fall under List A of Form I-9, otherwise known as the Employment Eligibility Verification.

This differs from the original procedure, in which individuals only had six months before their green card expired to apply for naturalization. If they made this deadline, they were able to receive an ADIT stamp on their passport to serve as temporary evidence of their LPR status. But if they missed this deadline, they needed to file Form I-90 to properly document their lawful status.

Of note, this new extension will apply to all naturalization applicants who filed their Form N-400 on or after December 12, 2022. But if you filed before, you may not receive a Form N-400 receipt notice with the extension. So if you require assistance with this, please do not hesitate in reaching out to a skilled family immigration lawyer in Milwaukee, WI.

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