Extensive Delays in Processing EAD and AP Applications08 Dec 2017
There have been extensive delays in the issuance of employment authorization documents (EADs) and advance paroles (APs). At the Murthy Law Firm, we have noticed that I-765s for EADs are taking around five-to-seven months to process, while the I-131s for AP applications are taking up to five months. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has issued a practice alert, notifying stakeholders of these lengthy delays in the processing of EADs and APs. AILA has also raised the issue with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Certain Pending EAD Renewals Provide Automatic Work Authorization
For certain categories of EAD renewals, the applicant is granted an automatic extension of the expiring EAD for up to 180 days, if the I-765 is timely filed and based on the same employment authorization category under which the current EAD was granted. This applies to categories such as asylees and those who file based on pending applications for adjustment of status (form I-485). Unfortunately, this benefit of the automatic work authorization for up to 180 days does not apply to all classes of foreign nationals who are eligible for the EAD, including L-2 spouses and qualifying H-4 spouses who are filing for their EAD renewals.
EAD/AP Delays Not a New Phenomenon
As noted, AILA has contacted the USCIS to raise concerns over these lengthy delays. This is not a new issue, as EAD applications have been plagued by delays over the years. It is unfortunate that the USCIS still has not taken the steps necessary to provide a long-term solution to this problem.
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