Starting this week U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its policy to automatically extend the validity of permanent resident cards (also called green cards) for individuals who have applied to become U.S. citizens.
This change in policy is a welcome change as it alleviates the need for naturalization applicants to file an extra application, the I-90, to renew their green card while they’re in the process of naturalizing. This automatic extension will apply to all applicants who file Form N-400 on or after Dec. 12, 2022. As a result of longer than normal processing times, many applicants for naturalization were finding themselves needing to renew their green cards while they waited for USCIS to adjudicate their naturalization cases. With a filing fee of $540, this need to file the I-90 was a costly and frustrating extra expense for many lawful permanent residents who were in the process of becoming US citizens.
Lawful permanent residents who submit their naturalization application on or after December 12, 2022 will receive this extension automatically. USCIS plans to update the language on the N-400 receipt notice to make clear that the naturalization applicant’s green card is automatically extended for up to 24 months. This N-400 receipt notice can then be shown along with the expired green card as evidence of continued employment authorization for I-9 purposes.