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February 15, 2010: Options for Long Term LPR with Expired Resident Card

Options for Long Term LPR with Expired Resident Card

Hello. My aunt was born in Germany, but she lived all her life in the US. She has two grown children here. Her green card expired and she does not have a birth certificate.

What should she do?
— Anonymous

From the facts presented, first and foremost make sure that your aunt is not already a United States citizen by virtue of her parents being United States citizens.

Assuming she is not a U.S. citizen by derivation, it appears that your aunt may have two options assuming she is otherwise qualified: applying for a replacement green card or applying for Naturalization. You should visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website www.uscis.gov to download the appropriate forms.

The application to replace the green card is Form I-90. There are several reasons for filing the Form I-90, one of which is that your green card is expired. The application to file for Naturalization is Form N-400. She will not be required to produce a birth certificate for either of these processes.

It is important to note that both processes include a fingerprint/background check. If your aunt has a criminal record, this check will reveal any and all arrests and/or convictions, which may render her deportable from the United States. If she does have a criminal record, it would be wise to consult with an experienced immigration attorney before filing either of the applications.

Additionally, for the Naturalization process, she will have to prove she meets the physical presence and residency requirements and the good moral character requirement. Depending on how long she has been a permanent and her age, she may qualify for an exemption for the civics and history portion of the exam and the English language requirement.

Because your aunt has been in the United States for so long, it may be wise for her to consult with an experienced immigration attorney before filing anything with the USCIS.

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Attorneys

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