What happens when you have let your green card expire, and you now want to apply for citizenship?
Under current immigration law, a naturalization applicant is not required to have a valid green card at the time of filing for citizenship.
Because of this, individuals with a now expired green card do not need to apply to renew their green cards before applying for citizenship.
However, in cases where the green card was lost or stolen it is recommended that the individual file Form I-90 to renew a lost or stolen green card. Even in this case you may still apply for citizenship and provide a copy of your I-90 receipt notice as proof that your green card renewal is in process.
Exception: Individuals who are traveling or individuals who need to have a valid green card to prove that they are eligible to engage in lawful employment, should apply to renew their green cards as soon as possible.
Remember that as a general rule, applicants are allowed to apply for citizenship even if their green card has now expired, but in certain cases it may be a good idea to apply for a green card renewal prior to applying for naturalization.
Conditional Green Cards
If you have received a conditional 2-year green card, you must first remove the conditions on your conditional permanent residence on Form I-751. Conditional residents may apply for citizenship on their third anniversary of becoming a resident, if they remain married to the same individual who petitioned for their green card.
For more information about citizenship please click here.