You have decided that it is time to apply for US Citizenship through Naturalization, but you are faced with the hurdle of your expired green card. You have heard many stories of people being unable to apply for citizenship with an expired green card. What may be even more challenging for you is that you will need to apply for a green card renewal and pay additional fees before applying for citizenship. While for some people this might be a costly barrier it may not be mandatory to renew an expired green card before applying for citizenship. Check with your nearest immigration attorney before renewing your green card or applying for citizenship.
Filing a Naturalization Application Even with an Expired U.S. Green Card
Regardless if your green card has expired, you continue being a permanent resident. You do not lose your immigration status. However, the actual green card itself may not be valid for most if not all uses.
It may be possible to apply for citizenship with an expired green card. Immigration law does not specifically require a valid green card to establish eligibility for US citizenship. Almost every day, applicants successfully file for US citizenship through naturalization.
Submitting a Form N400, Application for Naturalization While Waiting for Your Green Card Renewal to be Processed
Once an applicant is mindful of the expiry date on his or her green card, he or she can plan and renew the green card before pursuing the naturalization process. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will consider this when reviewing their naturalization application, so there is a higher chance of approval for applicants who are proactive about their Green Card renewal.
What To Do When Applying for US Citizenship with an Expired Green Card
People with expired green cards can apply for US citizenship on the official website for USCIS by filling out Form N400, Application for Naturalization. As the green card cannot be provided as proof of the applicant’s rights, they must get other evidence such as:
- Proof of current marital status
- History of residence in the US (ensure to provide previous addresses)
As an alternative, there is a possibility to apply for a green card renewal and subsequently apply for citizenship. Anyone who chooses to do this must include a Notice of Action in their citizenship application, which will be mailed out after the green card renewal process.
What Happens if My Green Card Expires While Waiting for an Approval for Citizenship?
Applicants whose green card expires during their citizenship process must apply for renewal in the standard way by submitting the online I-90. There is a possibility to avoid going through this obstacle by submitting a renewal application before applying for naturalization.
Check with an Immigration Attorney
Do you have an expired green card but would like to apply for US citizenship? Look no further. The Gambacorta Law Office is here to answer all your questions and meet your citizenship application needs. Call us at 847 443 9303 to schedule your first free consultation.