Cincinnati, OH asked in Immigration Law for Ohio

Q: Hello- Could someone give me guidance regarding an issue with applying for citizenship? Thank you!


My girlfriend is applying for US citizenship, but is having trouble. She currently holds an IR7 green card which she has been renewing for many years.

She is no longer under 18 years of age and has been renewing her green card for years without realizing she already qualified for citizenship. At no point during the green card renewals was she informed that a green card was no longer necessary and consequently has been shoveling out lots of money unnecessarily.

She only found out about this in the past month in a meeting with an immigration officer after submitting and paying for an I-400.

Was she already supposed to have citizenship upon arrival to the US with an IR7?

If not, has she been wrongfully informed during her green card renewals that they were no longer necessary?

Given that an I-600 for requesting a citizenship certificate costs $1,170, and given the circumstances, is she able to be reimbursed for the I-400 application?



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1 Lawyer Answer
Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Your girlfriend should speak with an immigration attorney about the specifics of her case. It matters whether one or both of her parents is a USC, which one, if only one, where she has been living, when she was born and entered the US, etc. She may be eligible to apply for citizenship, but it sounds like she did not automatically become a citizen at birth. She would not get citizenship on arrival to the US with an IR7 and USCIS is almost certainly not going to reimburse her.

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