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USCIS Sets New Automatic Extension Period for Certain EAD Renewal Applicants

Posted by Hugo R. Valverde, Managing Attorney, and Anna D. Colby, Attorney Social Media Marketing Manager | Nov 15, 2023 | 0 Comments

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On October 26, 2023, the temporary rule that was put in place to extend work authorization for many renewal applicants ended. 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. 

Beginning on October 27, 2023, USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) implemented its new policy - automatic extensions of employment authorization and EAD validity will be the original up to 180-day period for those eligible applicants who timely file a Form I-765 renewal applications on or after Oct. 27, 2023. 

The change is not retroactive; all previous up to 540-day automatic extensions will remain in place, but no further 540-day extensions will be given. 

How Do I Know if I am Eligible for an Automatic Extension of My EAD?

In order to be eligible for the automatic 180-day EAD extension, you must:

1) Properly file for your Form I-765 renewal before your EAD expires; and

2) Be otherwise eligible for a renewal. Meaning:

  • The Category on your current EAD matches the “Class Requested” listed on your Form I-797C Notice of Action, Receipt Notice (exceptions listed here); and
  • Your renewal application is under a category that is eligible for an automatic extension. The categories eligible for automatic renewal are as follows:
    • (a)(3) Refugee
    • (a)(5) Asylee
    • (a)(7) N-8 or N-9
    • (a)(8) Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau
    • (a)(10) Withholding of Deportation or Removal Granted
    • (a)(12) Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Granted
    • (a)(17) Spouse of principal E nonimmigrant with an unexpired I-94 showing E (including E-1S, E-2S and E-3S) nonimmigrant status
    • (a)(18) Spouse of principal L-1 Nonimmigrant with an unexpired I-94 showing L-2 (including L-2S) nonimmigrant status
    • (c)(8) Asylum Application Pending
    • (c)(9) Pending Adjustment of Status under Section 245 of the Act
    • (c)(10) Suspension of Deportation Applicants (filed before April 1, 1997), Cancellation of Removal Applicants, Special Rule Cancellation of Removal Applicants Under NACARA
    • (c)(16) Creation of Record (Adjustment Based on Continuous Residence Since January 1, 1972)
    • (c)(19) Pending initial application for TPS where USCIS determines applicant is prima facie eligible for TPS and can receive an EAD as a “temporary treatment benefit”.
    • (c)(20) Section 210 Legalization (pending I-700)
    • (c)(22) Section 245A Legalization (pending I-687)
    • (c)(24) LIFE Legalization
    • (c)(26) Spouses of certain H-1B principal nonimmigrants with an unexpired I-94 showing H-4 nonimmigrant status
    • (c)(31) VAWA Self-Petitioners

Although automatic extensions exist because of the expected delay of USCIS to process EADs on time, the federal agency did recently announce that the maximum EAD validity period has changed from two years to five years for eligible initial and renewal applications approved on or after September 27, 2023.

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.

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