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Employers May Accept Naturalization Receipts and Expired Green Cards for I-9 Purposes
Dec 12, 2022

Employers May Accept Naturalization Receipts and Expired Green Cards for I-9 Purposes

Topics: Immigration

This week, US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a policy change that allows employers to accept a receipt notice for a naturalization application along with an expired Permanent Resident Card (a/k/a Green Card) as evidence of employment authorization and identity.  

According to USCIS, “Presentation of the Form N-400 receipt notice along with the expired [Permanent Resident Card] is valid, unexpired evidence of LPR status, as well as identity and employment authorization under List A of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9), if presented before the expiration of the 24-month extension period provided in the notice.” This policy change comes as a result of a listening session with its customers and furthers USCIS’ efforts to streamline immigration processing, and to encourage eligible Lawful Permanent Residents to naturalize.

Practically speaking, this policy change means that Lawful Permanent Residents who apply to naturalize do not need to replace an expiring Permanent Resident Card. Before this policy change, a naturalization applicant whose card expired was required to file an application and pay USCIS a filing fee to replace a card that he or she would simply surrender at a naturalization ceremony. Sometimes, USCIS would adjudicate the naturalization application before processing the application to replace the Permanent Resident Card. When this happened, the new US citizen never received a new card. Instead, he or she received a letter from USCIS denying the replacement application because the applicant is no longer a Lawful Permanent Resident.

USCIS will implement this policy by changing the language on the naturalization receipt notice to include language extending the validity of an expired Permanent Resident Card. However, please note that this policy applies to all naturalization applicants with expired Permanent Resident Cards. The naturalization receipt need not contain the extension language to benefit from this policy change.

Employers who encounter employees who present expired green cards and naturalization receipt notices as evidence of employment authorization should seek advice from competent counsel. If you have any employment-related immigration questions, you can also feel free to contact the author of this blog, Richard Green.

About CDF

For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor in Chief

Sacramento Office Managing Partner and Chair of CDF’s Traditional Labor Law Practice Group. Mark has been practicing labor and employment law in California for thirty years. His practice has a special emphasis on the representation of California employers in union-management relations and handling federal and state court litigation and administrative matters triggered by all types of employment-related disputes. He is also adept at providing creative and practical legal advice to help minimize the risks inherent in employing workers in California. He recently named “Sacramento Lawyer of the Year” in Employment Law-Management for 2021 by Best Lawyers®.
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