Can You Apply For Naturalization With An Expired Green Card?

Sometimes, life gets busy, and you will be surprised it is already time to apply for citizenship. However, what if your Green Card has expired?  You should know what to do when you find yourself in this situation. A valid Green Card proves your lawful permanent resident status and is a prerequisite for eligibility.

This article explores the consequences and conditions of applying for U.S. citizenship with an expired Green Card. It also highlights how a naturalization lawyer can assist you in navigating the application process.

Find Out If You Can Apply For Naturalization In The U.S. With An Expired Green Card

How Can You Apply For Naturalization With An Expiring Green Card?

A lawful permanent resident or LPR status does not change with an expired Green Card. However, you may encounter problems if you do not renew it on time. For example, if you want to travel abroad, you will find it difficult to re-enter the United States with expired documents.

LPRs are required to possess a valid Green Card at all times as proof of their status. Even when you apply for naturalization, this requirement remains in effect. However, as of December 12, 2022, a significant update benefits citizenship applicants.

You will receive a receipt notice if you submit Form N-400 correctly. This receipt notice automatically extends the validity of your Green Card for an additional 24 months from the expiration date. This extension is crucial for various purposes, including application for citizenship, employment, and travel authorization.

It’s vital to emphasize the importance of this receipt notice as it proves your Green Card validity. It signifies the expiration of your Green Card has been extended. This extension ensures you can continue enjoying the LPR’s rights and privileges without issues.

However, you must immediately act if you have lost or misplaced your receipt. Specifically, you should file Form I-90 to renew your expiring Green Card. It is the application for replacing a Green Card, and following the proper procedures is essential.

Getting detailed information and guidance on renewing your Green Card is advisable. It includes the steps and requirements involved, so refer to the official resources and instructions provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS.

What Happens To Your Expired Green Card During Application?

If your Green Card has expired when filing your application, you will automatically receive a 24-month extension. However, you must remember that if your Green Card expires after 24 months, you must renew it immediately to avoid difficulties.

Starting December 12, 2022, if you submit your application, the 24-month extension period is calculated from your Green Card’s expiration date. With this extension, your Green Card remains in effect for 24 months beyond the printed expiration date.

If your application is still pending after the 24-month extension, you must obtain an Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunication (ADIT) stamp to confirm your lawful permanent resident status. You should contact your local USCIS field office for guidance and assistance to obtain an ADIT stamp.

Application Requirements

Whether or not a person’s Green Card has expired, they must meet these conditions to petition for citizenship. All paperwork must be in place, including documents and forms.

  • Proof of identity. Applicants must provide valid documentation, such as a valid passport, driver’s license, and state identification card, to demonstrate their identity.
  • Proof of continuous residence. Applicants must demonstrate that they have resided in the United States for the required time. Documents such as lease agreements, utility bills, or employment records can prove it.
  • Proof of physical presence. Applicants must provide evidence of their physical presence in the United States for a specific period. Documents such as travel records, employment records, or school transcripts can demonstrate this.
  • Good moral character. Applicants must demonstrate during the required period of residence. It includes avoiding criminal activities, maintaining financial responsibility, and adhering to U.S. laws and regulations.
  • English language proficiency. Applicants must show their ability to read, write, speak, and understand basic English. Passing the English language and civics tests during the naturalization process fulfills this requirement.
  • Knowledge of the U.S. government and history. This knowledge involves fundamental constitutional concepts, governmental organization, and significant historical moments. The civics test during the naturalization process assesses this knowledge.

It is important to note that the specific requirements may vary depending on individual circumstances. Consulting with an immigration lawyer can provide personalized guidance and ensure the fulfillment of all requirements. By doing so, individuals can ensure a smooth and successful journey toward realizing their dream of U.S. citizenship.

How Do Immigration Lawyers Help You?

Applying for U.S. citizenship with an expired Green Card can be complex, challenging, and time-consuming. However, you can travel with confidence if you have legal counsel. The lawyers at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law possess the knowledge and experience to clarify the process.

They assess your eligibility, provide renewal guidance, explore alternative options, overcome complications, and ensure compliance.

Clarification Of The Process

Immigration lawyers guide you in navigating the intricate application process with an expired Green Card. They can provide you with a crystal-clear understanding of the entire process from start to finish. 

They will explain in detail the steps you must take and the specific requirements you must fulfill.

Get Personalized Legal Help With Immigration Attorneys To Help You Renew Your Green Card

Further, they can also navigate potential challenges during the application. Working directly with them will help you to learn about the application process. They will break down terminology into easily understandable terms. They outline all the essential milestones and deadlines you must meet during the citizenship application process.

Assessment Of Eligibility

When determining whether a person is still eligible for citizenship after their Green Card has expired, immigration lawyers are vital. They evaluate the impact of the card’s expiration on the application process. They can determine if additional evidence or documentation is needed to strengthen the application.

Lawyers will meticulously review the immigration history and residency status. They also include relevant factors that may affect their eligibility for citizenship. They will think about how USCIS agents might interpret the expiration of the Green Card. They will identify any potential challenges that may arise.

Guidance On Renewal

Immigration lawyers are invaluable allies in guiding applicants through the Green Card renewal procedures. They possess comprehensive knowledge of the requirements involved. It allows them to provide guidance and support every step of the way.

Lawyers will assist applicants in preparing all the necessary documents for the Green Card renewal application. They will ensure accurate completion of the required forms and gather and organize all supporting documentation. They pay close attention to detail to minimize errors that could cause delays in the renewal process.

Evaluation Of Alternative Options

Citizenship lawyers explore alternative options for obtaining or maintaining legal status. They have extensive knowledge of the various immigration pathways. They assess the eligibility for different types of Visas or permanent residency.

Further, citizenship lawyers carefully evaluate the unique circumstances, immigration history, and goals to determine the most suitable action. They will consider factors such as qualifications, employment situation, and family connections. It also includes any available immigration programs or opportunities.

Overcome Complications

Suppose applicants encounter challenges or inquiries from USCIS. They will analyze the situation and work closely with the applicant to understand the nature of the complications or issues. They compile all the necessary data, records, and proof to create a compelling argument regarding the applicant’s rights.

Immigration lawyers can effectively navigate the complex legal landscape and address legal challenges. They will develop persuasive arguments and present compelling evidence to USCIS. They advocate for the applicant’s rights and interests.

Ensuring Compliance

Immigration lawyers have extensive knowledge of the legal requirements.

They guide applicants through the complexities of maintaining legal status and complying with residency requirements. They ensure applicants understand the necessary steps to maintain legal status.

You can avoid unintentional violations impacting your citizenship application when you work with them. They advise how LPRs can maintain their status while applying for citizenship. Further, they will advise on the necessary steps to take. It includes keeping Visas current, renewing permits, or requesting extensions to prevent lapses.

Moreover, lawyers will ensure that applicants are fully aware of the residency requirements for citizenship. They will provide detailed information on the continuity of residence to meet the eligibility criteria. This advice is crucial to prevent violations that can affect the citizenship application.

Immigration lawyers assist individuals applying for citizenship with an expired Green Card. Their assistance can significantly increase the applicant’s chances of submitting a successful citizenship application.


You can still apply for U.S. citizenship if your Green Card has expired. However, it is better to renew your Green Card first. The Green Card proves your permanent resident status with your duties and privileges. The citizenship process focuses on meeting requirements like continuous residence, good moral character, and passing English and civics tests.

Renewing your Green Card ensures you follow the rules and gives you peace of mind during the citizenship application. Immigration lawyers can help by explaining the process and checking if you are eligible. They guide you through the renewal and help with any complications. They make it easier to apply for citizenship successfully.

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