May 04, 2022

USCIS Announces Temporary Final Rule to Extend Work Authorization Period

This message is meant only for those clients who have applied for the renewal of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in certain categories. If that does not apply to you, you may ignore this message.

Due to historically lengthy processing times, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that certain Employment Authorization Document (EAD) renewal applicants will now receive an automatic 360-day extension, in addition to the previous 180-day extension, to their work authorization. This will allow for a total of up to 540 days of continued work authorization while the EAD extension application remains pending. The change was formalized through a Temporary Final Rule, which will remain in place until October 27, 2023.

If an applicant currently has a pending EAD renewal application and the 180-day automatic extension period has expired, the applicant will be eligible to begin or resume employment on May 4, 2022 and continue employment for 540 days from the expiration date of the applicant’s current EAD. If the applicant’s EAD renewal is currently pending and the applicant is still within the 180-day automatic employment extension period, he or she will now have an additional 360-day extension, for a total of up to 540 days past the expiration of the current EAD. Anyone in an eligible category who files an EAD renewal application before Oct. 27, 2023, will also receive an automatic extension of up to 540 days if the EAD expires before the renewal application is processed.

The EAD categories eligible for the automatic total 540 day extension to work authorization are (as indicated in Form I-765 at the time of the EAD renewal application):

(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 nonimmigrant status1
(a)(18)  Spouse of principal L-1 Nonimmigrant with an unexpired I-94 showing L-2 nonimmigrant status2
(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

Please contact our office if you have any questions about an EAD extension.

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