The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that lawful permanent residents who file a Form I-90 to obtain a new permanent resident card, aka green card, will have their green cards extended automatically for twenty-four months while USCIS processes the Form I-90 application. What does this mean?
During the I-9 process, a new hire may present an unexpired permanent resident card as proof of both work authorization and identity – a List A document. The USCIS normally issues permanent resident cards for ten years. A lawful permanent resident does not lose status when the permanent resident card expires but needs an unexpired card for travel or to use as a List A document when taking a new job. To renew an expiring green card, the lawful permanent resident files the Form I-90 with the USCIS. The USCIS will issue a Notice of Action confirming the filing of the Form I-90. Traditionally, that Notice of Action would include a statement that the filer’s permanent resident card is extended for twelve months. The individual could use the expired permanent resident card and the Notice of Action as proof of work authorization for that twelve month period. With the recent announcement, USCIS is now making the extension of the permanent resident card twenty-four months. When the USCIS issues a Notice of Action for a Form I-90 filed on or after September 26, the Notice of Action will say that the permanent resident card is extended for twenty-four months. For those permanent residents who have a pending Form I-90 filed before September 26, USCIS will issue a new Notice of Action with the twenty-four month extension language.
This change is likely to arise in two circumstances:
- A new hire who presents an expired permanent resident card and a Notice of Action evidencing the filing of a Form I-90.
- A current employee who had presented an expired permanent resident card and the Notice of Action with the twelve month extension at the time of hire. This employee should receive an amended Notice of Action with the twenty-four month extension language. The employee can use the new Notice of Action for an additional twelve months of validity of his her expired green card.
When the period of automatic extension expires, the employer must remember to re-verify the permanent resident’s status.
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