USCIS is updating its Policy Manual, which will automatically extend the validity of Green Cards for those who possess lawful permanent resident (LPR) status and have applied for citizenship by naturalization.
The primary rationale behind this policy update is to lend assistance to applicants of naturalization who go through considerably longer processing times stemming from massive backlogs in the USCIS. So, with this update, applicants in this category will receive an extension of LPR status and might not need to file an I-90 form used to replace Green Cards. That is, If lawful permanent residents apply for naturalization by filing an N-400 form correctly, they will obtain this extension irrespective of whether they did file an I-90. In addition, USCIS will also update the wording on N-400 receipt notices to extend Green Cards for the utmost 24 months for these petitioners. Thus, within the twenty-four-month extension period, these receipt notices will be used as evidence of ongoing status along with identity and employment authorization when presented with an expired Green Card.
This extension regulation would apply to all petitioners filing Form N-400 on or after December 12, 2022. Beneficiaries of LPR who filed for naturalization before that date will not be subject to the issuance of Form N-400 receipt notice with the extension, and their requirements will remain as is. Therefore, if their LCR, aka Green Card, expires, they typically still have to file Form I-90 or Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp in their passport to maintain the validity of their status.
Another important caveat to be reminded of here would be for those who lose their Green Card. Even if they have submitted their application for citizenship by naturalization and obtained the automatic extension according to this update, they must still file form I-90 since noncitizens are obliged to carry proof of registration, i.e., Green Card in our case, within their personal possession.
We will monitor further implications and will continue to keep you posted about relevant developments.
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