Applying for U.S. Citizenship with a Pending I-751:
One of the perks of receiving Conditional Lawful Permanent Residence status (i.e., a conditional 2-year green card) through marriage to a U.S. citizen is that you typically become eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship through the Naturalization process within three years of receiving your green card. The good news is that your time as a conditional resident counts towards the 3-year requirement for Naturalization.
However, many conditional residents wonder whether it is possible to pursue the Naturalization process while they have a pending Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. The short answer is that “it depends.”
Suppose you have submitted Form I-751 with the USCIS, you have yet to receive approval of the application, and you are still waiting on your physical 10-year green card. In that case, you may still be eligible to pursue the Naturalization process by submitting Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, even while your I-751 application is still undergoing processing.
However, it is essential to remember that the USCIS will not approve your Form N-400 without first approving your Form I-751. If you have an upcoming Naturalization interview, the immigration officer assigned to your case will conduct the I-751 interview first. If your Form I-751 is approved, the Naturalization (N-400) interview will proceed.
Because of the lengthy processing times for Form I-751, applying for Naturalization while the I-751 is pending may help to speed up the overall process. Check out our downloadable guide below to learn more about the process.
USCIS Interview Process when both the I-751 and N-400 are Pending:
Suppose you have a Naturalization interview with the USCIS, and your Form I-751 application is still pending approval. In that case, you should prepare to have your spouse accompany you, especially if you both filed the I-751 application together. This joint filing means you and your petitioning spouse are still married and are seeking approval for Form I-751 on that basis. During the interview, an immigration officer will question you and your spouse to assess your eligibility for Form I-751 approval. If everything goes smoothly, the immigration officer may approve your Form I-751 and proceed with the Naturalization interview.
However, in some cases, the USCIS will only process some applications simultaneously and may require other applicants to wait for their Form I-751 to process before scheduling the Naturalization interview. If the USCIS declines to process both cases simultaneously, they will place the Naturalization application on “pause” until the I-751 process is complete.
How to Prepare your Application Package:
The U.S. immigration system is complex. Everything from knowing what to do to how you should do it can be confusing and complicated.
It’s essential not only to submit a properly prepared application package but also to understand the inner workings of the immigration benefit and process you are applying for. Incorrectly filed applications can lead to irreversible consequences, such as losing your entire status.
We understand that not everyone can hire an experienced attorney to represent them throughout the immigration process. As such, we’ve created a step-by-step downloadable guide to help applicants prepare their applications like professionals. Avoid filing a poor application package.
Attention: This article was written to provide general information, which should not be construed as legal advice. If you are seeking advice on a specific legal matter, you are encouraged to contact our law firm directly and schedule a consultation with our Immigration Attorney for a thorough review of your case.