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N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

Old Sep 16th 2021, 3:39 am
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Default N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

Hello all,

First time posting in a long time so glad to be back. I've done some digging and curious to see if anyone here has some advice. I'm currently on my 10 year green card post marriage and it expires Febraury 2023. I havent yet filed for citizenship and was doing some research on filing and wait times. I'm seeing the difference between to 2 currently is not that far apart. However curious if I file for citizenship if it takes longer than my current GC is valid what my option are? I remember when I filed my Adjustment of Status I could apply for a work permit but I couldn't find anything in my searching as to the process if for some reason filing the N-400 took me past my current GC expiration.

I'd be applying to the Atlanta field office which is currently stated as 13-17 months for N-400, where as I could see online current GC processing times are 8-13 months.

Appreciate any insight or advice that can be offered here, this site was super helpful for me in my initial K-1 journey.

Alex
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Old Sep 16th 2021, 11:33 am
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

Originally Posted by ajmstevenson View Post
Hello all,

First time posting in a long time so glad to be back. I've done some digging and curious to see if anyone here has some advice. I'm currently on my 10 year green card post marriage and it expires Febraury 2023. I havent yet filed for citizenship and was doing some research on filing and wait times. I'm seeing the difference between to 2 currently is not that far apart. However curious if I file for citizenship if it takes longer than my current GC is valid what my option are? I remember when I filed my Adjustment of Status I could apply for a work permit but I couldn't find anything in my searching as to the process if for some reason filing the N-400 took me past my current GC expiration.

I'd be applying to the Atlanta field office which is currently stated as 13-17 months for N-400, where as I could see online current GC processing times are 8-13 months.

Appreciate any insight or advice that can be offered here, this site was super helpful for me in my initial K-1 journey.

Alex
I say it depends on your long term plan. If you eventually want citizenship then why not go for it now? I applied via Atlanta (in 2012). It was super busy but straightforward.
I don't know the answer to having N-400 application filed when GC expires.
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Old Sep 16th 2021, 11:36 am
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

It's always safer to have in date documents when dealing with USCIS. That said, the card is only evidence of the status and not the status itself, so you can still be approved on your N400 application even with an expired green card.

I applied via Atlanta (in 2012). It was super busy but straightforward.
Me too. 12 months from application to approval in 2019. Things have gone backwards fast since then though one suspects.
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Old Sep 16th 2021, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

Thanks all. After a bit more digging I found the following on the USCIS site:

For form I-90; "Beginning in January 2021, if you are applying to renew your Green Card, your Form I-90 receipt notice (also known as Form I-797) will say the following and can be used with your expired Green Card as evidence of your lawful permanent resident status: This notice provides evidence of your lawful permanent resident status for 12 months from the expiration date on your Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card). You remain authorized to work and travel. This notice, presented with your expired Permanent Resident Card, is evidence of your status and work authorization."

For Form N-400; "Lost or Expiring Permanent Resident Card: If you lost your Permanent Resident Card (commonly called a Green Card) or your card expired, you generally must still file Form I-90 even if you have applied for naturalization. However, if you properly file Form I-90 or you filed your Form N-400 at least six months before your Green Card expired, we may issue you an Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp as temporary proof of your lawful permanent resident status."

I ultimately intend to become a citizen, but for one reason or another have been a little lax in filing the paperwork; I guess more now more informed question is, is there any reason I couldn't file both? Go ahead and file my N-400 and also file the I-90 so I make sure I have something that covers me if my card expires while the N-400 is processing? It seems like a lot of expense but I figured it would be less stressful potentially, and I think I read I can withdraw the application potentially.

Thanks again for the responses, this site really is invaluable!
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Old Sep 16th 2021, 12:26 pm
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

is there any reason I couldn't file both?
No. Indeed that's probably the best course of action and covers all bases.
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Old Sep 16th 2021, 1:20 pm
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

Why spend the extra money to apply for a new green card if you are going to apply to naturalization. IMHO, I would just go ahead and file the N-400 first. If it is not adjudicated before the current card expires in 2023 (NOTE: For those who are newbies, the expiring card does not mean the status expires. It means that the 'proof' of that status is expired.), you are free to get a new I-551 in your valid passport which serves the same purpose and is free.
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Old Sep 16th 2021, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
No. Indeed that's probably the best course of action and covers all bases.
Awesome, thanks! Will post some updates as I got through the process with each!
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Old Sep 16th 2021, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Why spend the extra money to apply for a new green card if you are going to apply to naturalization. IMHO, I would just go ahead and file the N-400 first. If it is not adjudicated before the current card expires in 2023 (NOTE: For those who are newbies, the expiring card does not mean the status expires. It means that the 'proof' of that status is expired.), you are free to get a new I-551 in your valid passport which serves the same purpose and is free.
I'm still relatively green in all this so didn't want to end up in a position where I have issues with regard to work or travel. Also with the current wait times and the fact that I'm generally a well planned out person I am a little nervous. I certainly don't want to spend any more money than I need to, but also hate leaving things until the last minute.

I need to spend a bit more time doing some gathering of the info needed for the N-400, the thing that gives me the most heartburn is building the list of places I've traveled in the last 5 years outside the US. Even with COVID that's a long list to build (very fortunate to work somewhere with great travel benefits). Also I have a trip upcoming so wondering if I should list that on there or wait until I come back.

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Old Sep 16th 2021, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

List your travel as it applies on the date you sign the N-400. When you go to the in person interview, you will be asked to provide any updated travel information.

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Old Sep 16th 2021, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

Originally Posted by ajmstevenson View Post
I'm still relatively green in all this so didn't want to end up in a position where I have issues with regard to work or travel. Also with the current wait times and the fact that I'm generally a well planned out person I am a little nervous. I certainly don't want to spend any more money than I need to, but also hate leaving things until the last minute.

I need to spend a bit more time doing some gathering of the info needed for the N-400, the thing that gives me the most heartburn is building the list of places I've traveled in the last 5 years outside the US. Even with COVID that's a long list to build (very fortunate to work somewhere with great travel benefits). Also I have a trip upcoming so wondering if I should list that on there or wait until I come back.
try to download your travel history from here, that should be a good starting point to build your list, it was a pain, but with the entries and exists you only need to check your own records for the lists of countries you went to on any trip. The one other one to look out for is that same day trips are not included on the form, but do show in the travel history download. Also note that it keys of your passport number, so you may need to do multiple downloads if your renewed your passport or have multiple you use:

https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/history-results


Last edited by tht; Sep 16th 2021 at 8:18 pm.
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Old Sep 16th 2021, 11:44 pm
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

You only need to count the trip days for the 3 years prior to filing, not from the date of your green card. With Covid, I'm sure your traveling has been rather limited.
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Old Sep 20th 2021, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
You only need to count the trip days for the 3 years prior to filing, not from the date of your green card. With Covid, I'm sure your traveling has been rather limited.
Are you sure about at ? I was eligible under both option A. 5 year residence or B. 3 years residence married to a USC. It sounds like the OP is in a similar situation as his 10 year GC expires in 2023. Thats not what I had in my notes / emails with lawyer from when I did my N400 in 2019.

If you look at the online PDF N400:
https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/...orms/n-400.pdf
Page 7 asks for 5 years
The 3 and 5 year langue is in the guidance for tax returns:
"tax returns that you filed with the IRS for the past 5 years, or 3 years if filing for naturalization on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen"
Page 12: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/...n-400instr.pdf

But thee is not similar guidance for trips outside the US:
"Part 9. Time Outside the United States
Item Number 1. Provide the total number of days (24 hours or longer) you spent outside the United States during the last
5 years.
Item Number 2. Provide the total number of trips (24 hours or longer) you have taken outside the United States during the last 5 years.
Item Number 3. Provide information for every trip (24 hours or longer) you have taken outside the United States during the last 5 years. Start with your most recent trip and work backwards."
Page 8: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/...n-400instr.pdf

Although for someone that has only been here for 3 years I can see that it would be hard to give more than 3 years history for trips outside the US... and it seems like they would only look at the 3 year period to establish eligibility.




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Old Sep 20th 2021, 11:05 pm
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

If married to the same US citizen for a full 3 years, you can file based on 3 years as a PR. Wherever the form asks for 5 years of info, just provide 3 years.

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Old Sep 21st 2021, 10:38 pm
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

Originally Posted by tht View Post
Are you sure about at ? I was eligible under both option A. 5 year residence or B. 3 years residence married to a USC. It sounds like the OP is in a similar situation as his 10 year GC expires in 2023. Thats not what I had in my notes / emails with lawyer from when I did my N400 in 2019.
I'm 100% certain of this. If naturalizing based on marriage to a US Citizen which means you are eligible for naturalizing 90 days before your third anniversary of the green card and your marriage is already past your third anniversary date, you only need to account for the last three years of travel outside of the US.

It is right there in the chart in the N400.

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Old Sep 21st 2021, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: N400 or renew green card, which would be best?

There can be any number of good reasons why the OP has a 10 year green card. He could have entered the US with an approved I-130 after having been married for 2 full years. Or perhaps it took 24 months from filing stateside for his AOS to be approved.

But having traced his history, he has just not filed for naturalization until now. No big deal. So this particular poster will do a 5 year listing of travels outside of the US. He can check his passport(s) to see what travel dates are there.



Last edited by Rete; Sep 21st 2021 at 10:52 pm.
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