Renew GC and/or Apply for Citizenship

gdh

Registered Users (C)
#1
Hi all,

Our GC's are set to expire next April.
We would like to apply for Citizenship but I'm afraid we won't get it in time before our GC's expire.
Should we apply for both GC renewal and Citizenship?

Thank you,
GDH
 

newacct

Well-Known Member
#2
If you are going to apply for naturalization, then you don't need to waste money to also apply for green card renewal. You can get an I-551 stamp while your N-400 is pending, as proof of permanent residency in the meantime. If you file I-90 for green card renewal, it will take about a year so you would have to get an I-551 stamp anyway.
 

gdh

Registered Users (C)
#3
Thank you for your response.
I'm not familiar with I-551 stamps, so I'll have to read up on them.
One thing I don't understand is that according to the I-90 form, I can only apply if my GC expires in the next six months. How can then it take a year to get it? I really thought (or hoped) it was a quicker process.
 

newacct

Well-Known Member
#4
Thank you for your response.
I'm not familiar with I-551 stamps, so I'll have to read up on them.
One thing I don't understand is that according to the I-90 form, I can only apply if my GC expires in the next six months. How can then it take a year to get it? I really thought (or hoped) it was a quicker process.
Yes, you can only apply for it if your GC expires in the next 6 months, but it takes around a year to get (see processing times), which means you will not get the new GC by the time the old GC expires. That's why you need an I-551 stamp for proof of permanent residence in the meantime before you get the new GC.
 

cafeconleche

Registered Users (C)
#5
Apply for naturalisation before there's less than 6 months left on your GC so that they don't make you pay for a GC renewal (which you are required to do if you apply for naturalisation with less than 6 months left on your GC). Then when your GC expires you can basically walk in to a fingerprinting centre and ask for an I551 stamp with proof of your N400 application (for free).
 

newacct

Well-Known Member
#7
There used to be an old Q&A that said you needed to renew the green card before applying for naturalization if it's going to expire in less than 6 months, but that is no longer online. I can't find anything official that says you cannot apply for naturalization with a green card expiring in less than 6 months without applying for renewal. Some people have argued that someone with a green card expiring in less than 6 months, or expired green card, should still be able to apply for naturalization without renewal since they are still legally permanent residents.
 

gdh

Registered Users (C)
#8
Thank you for all the information. We will apply for citizenship. I guess we'll see if they'll charge us for the I-551 stamps. :)
 
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