USCIS Provides Temporary Relief for Certain EAD Renewals05 May 2022
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a temporary final rule that temporarily increases the automatic extension period of certain employment authorization documents (EADs) while the form I-765 renewal application is pending. Under this temporary rule, rather than extending the validity period of a qualifying EAD by up to 180 days, the validity period of qualifying EADs will be extended by up to 540 days while the renewal application is pending.
Automatic EAD Extension Only Applies to Certain Categories
EAD applicants in certain categories, such as applicants with pending I-485 applications, asylees, and those in temporary protected status (TPS), are granted automatic extensions of expiring EADs based on a timely filed application to renew the EAD in the same category. As of May 4, 2022, this automatic extension has been increased from 180 days to 540 days, as long as the renewal application remains pending.
Dependent spouses in H-4 or L2S status are also eligible for an automatic extension of the EAD based on a pending renewal application. The EAD extension is granted for up to 540 days, or the applicant’s I-94 expiration date, whichever date is earlier.
Rule Applies Renewal Application Filed Through 26 Oct 2023
As explained in the rule, the 540-day extension applies to three groups of renewal applicants who previously would only have been eligible for a 180-day automatic extension. First, it applies to those applicants who had a renewal application pending as of the May 4, 2022, effective date of this temporary rule, and whose EAD had not yet expired or whose 180-day auto-extension had not yet lapsed. Second, it applies to renewal applicants who file an I-765 renewal application on or before October 26, 2023. Third, the temporary rule also applies to certain renewal applicants whose 180-day auto-extension has already expired. In those cases, employment authorization resumes, effective May 4, 2022, and generally continues for a period of up to 540 days from the date the EAD expired, as shown on the face of the EAD.
While this rule change is beneficial to certain renewal applicants, it does not provide any benefit to those applying for initial EADs, or to applicants not eligible for the 180-day renewal. We urge the USCIS to do more to address the tremendous problems created by adjudication delays.
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