USCIS Policy Update: Automatic Extension of Green Cards for Naturalization Applicants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is implementing a policy update to automatically extend the validity of Permanent Resident Cards, commonly known as Green Cards, for lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who have applied for naturalization.

This policy change is designed to assist naturalization applicants facing prolonged processing times, providing them with an extension of their lawful permanent resident status. Consequently, they may not be required to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Green Card). LPRs who correctly file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, may receive this extension, regardless of whether they have filed Form I-90. USCIS will adjust the language on Form N-400 receipt notices to grant Green Card extensions for up to 24 months. Applicants can present the receipt notice along with the expired Green Card as evidence of continued status, identity, and employment authorization under List A of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9), if submitted before the expiration of the 24-month extension period specified in the notice.

Previously, under USCIS policy, naturalization applicants who did not initiate the naturalization process at least six months before their Green Card's expiration date had to file Form I-90 to maintain valid documentation of their lawful status. Those who applied for naturalization at least six months before their Green Card's expiration could receive an Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp in their passport as temporary evidence of their LPR status. This policy change acknowledges current USCIS processing times, enhancing flexibility and efficiency by reducing the need for ADIT stamp appointments and Form I-90 filings, allowing resources to be directed towards other immigration benefit adjudications.

This extension applies to all applicants filing Form N-400 on or after December 12, 2022. LPRs who submitted naturalization applications before this date will not receive a Form N-400 receipt notice with the extension. If their Green Card expires, they typically need to file Form I-90 or obtain an ADIT stamp to maintain valid evidence of their LPR status. Even with the automatic extension under this updated policy, LPRs who lose their Green Card must still file Form I-90, as noncitizens are required to carry proof of registration to avoid potential criminal prosecution under INA 264(e). Applicants in need of an ADIT stamp can request an appointment at a USCIS Field Office by contacting the USCIS Contact Center.

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