This whole year different temporary government policies put in place during the pandemic have been ending. On April 11, 2023, the Biden Administration announced the end of the Covid-19 National Emergency Response, and since then many pandemic-era policies have been sunsetting.
USCIS is no exception.
On October 26, 2023, the temporary rule that was put in place to extend work authorization for many renewal applicants will end. Under the pandemic-era policy, people who applied for renewal of their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) could have their work authorization extended for up to 540 days, if they filed under one of the 18 eligible categories.
Once October 26 arrives, applicants who file to renew their EADs will be under the normal EAD extension of 180 days, counting from the expiration date listed on their EAD.
The 540 day extension given during the pandemic was put in place because of the operational challenges that USCIS was having in approving EAD renewals before their expiration dates. For example, if you apply for an EAD renewal based on a pending adjustment of status (c(9)), the average wait time varies from 7 months to 15.5 months, depending on what service center you apply to.
Only time will tell if USCIS can successfully speed up their processing time for EAD renewals, but in the meantime we encourage you to file for your EAD renewal before October 26, 2023, because the 540-day EAD extension will still apply to you if your category is eligible.
If you need assistance with applying for a work permit, please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.