One of the most commonly asked questions we encounter is, “Can I file for citizenship while my application for Removal of Conditions is still pending?” This query generally comes from those who have a two-year conditional green card. Let’s delve deeper into this question to provide a clear understanding.
When you have a two-year conditional green card, you must apply to remove conditions within the 90-day period before expiration of your green card. The relevant form for this procedure is USCIS Form I-751. Currently, the processing time for this application has extended significantly, in some instances stretching up to 3-4 years! In fact, USCIS recently extended the validity of conditional green cards for 48 months for those who properly file Form I-751 as evidence of continued status. During this prolonged waiting period, you may be eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship. But is it the right move?
When Can You Apply for Citizenship?
Most people are eligible for U.S. citizenship after having been a lawful permanent resident for 5 years. However, a conditional resident may apply for U.S. citizenship if they are married to a US Citizen for at least 3 years. But there’s a catch, you must be married and living with your U.S. Citizen spouse until your Naturalization application is adjudicated.
If you file your application for Naturalization while your I-751 Petition is pending, immigration can only approve your Citizenship after approval of your I-751.
Don’t wait to file your application for U.S. citizenship. We recommend filing your citizenship application (Form N-400) as soon as you are eligible, even if your I-751 is pending. This proactive approach may expedite your I-751 processing while simultaneously obtaining U.S. citizenship. We recommend both the applicant and U.S. citizen spouse attend the interview for the adjudication of the jointly filed I-751 petition.
In this scenario, USCIS will adjudicate both the I-751 and N-400 concurrently, streamlining the process. This proactive approach can potentially expedite your path to U.S. Citizenship.
Conditional permanent residents have a fast track to U.S. citizenship based on marriage to their U.S. citizenship spouse. It’s best to consult with an immigration expert to weigh all the pros and cons of filing your N-400 while your I-751 is pending to maximize your chances of approval without delays.
If you or your family members have any questions about how immigration and nationality laws in the United States may affect you, or if you want to access additional information about immigration and nationality laws in the United States or Canada, please do not hesitate to contact the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can reach us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. We also invite you to visit our website at www.visaserve.com for more information.