The USCIS immigration agency announced a policy change last Friday, which takes effect today (December 12, 2022). It’s a relatively minor policy tweak, but with major benefits for some Lawful Permanent Residents (“LPRs”) filing Form N-400 to apply for Naturalization, saving them both time and money in the New Year.
“Naturalization” is the application-based process by which an LPR living in the U.S. for several years can request to be considered for U.S. citizenship. Due to often lengthy processing times for N-400 applications, LPRs will occasionally see their greencards expire, before final citizenship approval. The separate Form I-90 application process to renew a greencard is fairly straight-forward, but can similarly take several months to be processed by the USCIS, and the application filing fees alone are several hundred dollars.
With this change in policy, the USCIS will now issue N-400 filing receipt notices which contain an automatic extension of greencard expirations for 24 months. Together with their expired greencard, the N-400 receipt notice will suffice for most LPRs’ regular travel and work authorization needs. Although naturalization processing times can vary widely at local USCIS offices across the country, the additional 2 years should be plenty of time for most applicants to avoid having to file a separate I-90 form while they wait for US citizenship. And, that’s an unexpected, extra $500+ in your pocket next year. So, thanks, USCIS!
As always, if you or your employees have any questions about US citizenship or the naturalization process, feel free to reach out to us for further help, at any time.