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USCIS Increases Automatic Extensions of EADs for Certain Work Permits

Posted by Hugo R. Valverde, Managing Attorney, and Anna D. Colby, Attorney Social Media Marketing Manager | May 06, 2024 | 0 Comments

Photo by Jeriden Villegas on Unsplash

Good news from the government may be rare, but the latest from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency is actually great news. 

April's Temporary Final Rule announced by USCIS is extending Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for eligible noncitizens from 180 days to 540 days. In an act that is helpful to both EAD holders and their employers, the extension decision was made with the specific goal to better ensure continuity of operations for U.S. employers. Almost 20% of the U.S. workforce is made of immigrant workers, which equates to about 30 million people, many of which have EADs. 

According to the announcement the temporary measure will apply to eligible EAD holders “who timely and properly filed an EAD renewal application on or after October 27, 2023, if the application is still pending on the date of publication in the Federal Register.” The extension will additionally apply to eligible EAD renewal applicants who file their Form I-765 application during a 540-day period that begins when the rule is published in the Federal Register. 

This extension has the ability to affect almost 800,000 EAD renewal applicants, including asylees or asylum applicants, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applicants or recipients, and green card applicants. Currently the processing period for EAD renewals ranges from 4.5 months to 14.5 months, depending on filing location and EAD category, but any lapse in employment authorization of EAD holders forces U.S. employers to pause employment. 

USCIS has yo-yo'd quite a bit with automatic EAD extensions - last year it announced that it was ending 540 day extensions in favor of 180 day extensions, so this new Temporary Final Rule is a welcome and unexpected announcement. 

We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to timely file for your EAD renewal. The extension will only apply for people who have timely filed for their renewals, not just people whose EADs are expiring, so be sure to apply for the renewal of your Employment Authorization card six months before your EAD expiration date. 

If you would like assistance with an immigration petition, you can reach 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.

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