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Renew Green Card or Apply for Citizenship?

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Do you have to renew your green card while your naturalization case is pending?

Hi. I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. I am still here on quarantine. I got exposed to the coronavirus out in San Diego last week when I was visiting my son. They had a big outbreak at the school, and I am here with pneumonia, waiting for my test results. So hopefully I don’t have it.

In any event, I committed to making a video every single day. So even though I can’t get in the studio, I’m making this video here for you. And we’re talking about what happens when you want to apply for citizenship, but your green card is about to expire.

Now you never want to let your green card expire. Generally you want to make sure that you’re always having proof of status. But if you’re getting ready to apply for citizenship and your green card is about to expire, you can naturalize without a green card. You can naturalize with an expired green card, so you don’t really need to worry about renewing that green card, paying that extra filing fee for I-90, if you’re going ahead and filing for citizenship.

The two main reasons why you might want to go ahead and file that I-90 and pay that fee is that either you’re going to have to travel abroad while your naturalization case is pending and there’s a risk of that, or if you think that your employer is going to require it. So if you have either of those scenarios, you probably want to go ahead and file the I-90 renewal and also file the N-400. But if you don’t have those scenarios, then you can just naturalize with an expired green card, and so you don’t have to renew it.

Even if you’re nervous about it, you don’t have to. But if it’s going to make you feel better, or if you think you’re going to have to travel, or if you think your employer is going to make you show proof of eligibility to work, then you would go ahead and do that. Otherwise, forget it. Just go ahead and just spend the money on the naturalization and go from there.

If you have questions about this, give us a call (314) 961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us in our Facebook Group that’s called Immigrant Home. We share a lot of our immigration information in there first. And then also make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one.

Thanks a lot. Have a great day. Hopefully I’ll be back in the studio soon. Take care.

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