Can I file N-400 Citizenship application with a pending I-751 petition?

In this blog post, we discuss an important topic: can you apply for U.S. Citizenship if you are still waiting to receive a decision for a pending Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

We will discuss a client’s hypothetical case for you to consider under what circumstances it may be possible to apply for U.S. Citizenship with a pending I-751 petition.


As our readers may be aware, the Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence is subject to lengthy processing times, with 80 percent of cases receiving a decision within 20 to 30 months of filing, depending on the USCIS Field Office or Service Center that is processing the petition.

Due to these long wait times, back in January of 2023, USCIS announced that it would be extending the validity of Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards) for applicants with a pending Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, or Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status for a period of 48 months (4 years) beyond the green card’s printed expiration date.

USCIS began implementing this change by providing a 48-month automatic extension on Notices of Action mailed to applicants beginning on January 11, 2023, for Form I-829 applicants, and on January 25, 2023, for Form I-751 applicants.

Such Notices of Action are proof of the extended validity of a Green Card for 48 months for those with pending petitions to remove conditions on residence.

A Hypothetical Example – Under what circumstances may you consider applying for U.S. Citizenship with a pending I-751 petition?

Let’s imagine that client John received his conditional permanent residence (2-year green card) based on his marriage to a United States Citizen. Prior to the expiration of his green card, John timely filed Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence and received an extension of 48 months. His petition has been pending with USCIS for more than 2 years with no decision in sight. However, John became eligible to apply for U.S Citizenship upon reaching his third anniversary as a permanent resident, because he is still married to his U.S. Citizenship spouse.

In this situation, John is interested in applying for U.S. Citizenship because he wants to eventually immigrate his parents to the United States, but John is still waiting for his I-751 decision.

John contacted our office to file the N-400 application for naturalization on his behalf. Eight months later John received a notice to appear for an interview in connection with his N-400 naturalization application. At that point, John still had not received a decision for his I-751 petition.

In light of this, our attorneys prepared John for the possibility of having a double interview – one involving his pending I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence to prove the bona fides of his marriage, and a second to prove his eligibility for U.S. Citizenship.

At his interview, the immigration officer realized that John’s I-751 petition was still pending and proceeded to interview him with respect to the bona fides of his marriage. He adjudicated his I-751 petition during the interview. Thereafter, the officer proceeded to conduct a second interview with respect to his eligibility for U.S. Citizenship. At the conclusion of the interview, he recommended the approval of both his I-751 petition and his N-400 application for naturalization.

The result was that John received approval notices for both cases within 30 days of his interview. One month later John received a notice to attend his Oath Ceremony to swear his allegiance to the United States and became a United States citizen.

Our client’s case illustrates that under some circumstances, certain applicants with a pending Form I-751 may consider applying for U.S. Citizenship. However, those that have underlying issues with their I-751 petition may need to think twice before moving forward with their application.

The determination of whether you may apply for U.S. citizenship will ultimately depend on the unique set of facts surrounding your case and the merits of your I-751 petition. Serious risks may arise if you cannot prove the bona fides of your marriage to the satisfaction of an immigration officer, or if you have other underlying issues in your case.

If you are interested in applying for U.S. Citizenship, but your I-751 petition remains pending, we urge you to speak to an experienced immigration attorney who can evaluate your case and determine your best course of action.

Contact Us. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-569-1768 or call 619-819-9204.

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