Is your work authorization expiring and your renewal is pending at USCIS.
Author : Gajendra Prasad P Sankaranarayana
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have applied for your Green card and it is pending at USCIS, you will be able to work in USA using the employment authorization(EAD). However it is your responsibility to keep your work authorization valid at all times to be eligible to work.
If you are working using EAD, it is important to know that you should have an approved and valid EAD card in hand to continue working. Unlike H1 visa, you will not be eligible to work when an EAD application is pending with USCIS and if you have valid receipt notice. Additionally you will not be eligible to work until you have the work authorization card in hand i.e. even if you work authorization is approved you cannot work until you receive your physical and valid EAD card in hand.
USCIS allows you to apply for a new EAD or a renewal 120 days prior to the expiry. USCIS will need 90 days to process your application for new EAD or a renewal. For all reasons, it is recommended that you apply at the least 110 days before your expiry. This will provide ample time for USCIS to process the application and for you to receive your EAD card in mail including any postal delays.
However in certain cases, USCIS might delay processing for your application more than 90 days or your application might have been filled less than the required number of days for unknown or unavoidable reasons. In both these cases you will be the person affected; you will face the risk of employment termination or you will be asked to take a forced unpaid temporary leave of absence. Additionally, you will also put your project and/or work under pressure and risk.
If you are a victim of the stated scenario, this document will help you to understand the procedure to expedite your case with USCIS.
Being a recent victim of the above scenario, I am providing this write up on my personal experience. Please be aware the following steps are only guidelines to help you and I am not legally responsible if these actions are not fruitful and I cannot be held legally responsible for the outcome of your actions.
STEPS to expedite your case
1. Call USCIS customer service.
Your first step to expedite your case is to call the USCIS customer service number stated in your receipt notice 1-800-375-5283. Please be sure to have the receipt notice in hand while you call the customer service. You will be able to expedite your case only if you have one or more of the following reasons.
a. Your application is pending with USCIS more than 75 days.
b. You will have a Severe financial loss if you do not have EAD on hand before your expiry.
c. Your company will have a Severe financial loss, if you do not have EAD on hand before your expiry.
d. Request for expediting on Humanitarian reasons.
e. Expediting your case will benefit the United States.
f. You are expediting your case because of the USCIS error has delayed your application processing and you are affected.
Based on my experience most of us will fit under reasons a and/or b. USCIS customer service representative will provide your with a Service Request number. USCIS will respond with your request within 5 days.
They might accept your request to expedite or deny it. If they deny it, you can request it to expedite again using info pass appointment (step 3). In some case you will get a email stating Your request for expediting has been accepted, you will receive a decision on you case in 60 days, this is a good thing at least they have accepted the case to be expedited.
If you do not receive a decision on your case in an acceptable time frame , follow step 2.
2. Written request to expedite.
Your second step to expedite is to place a written request. Make sure you quote your name, Receipt number, Alien number, Service request number the USCIS customer representative provided to you when you called them to expedite the case.
Explain your situation briefly and the reason why you need the card in hand at the earliest date and send an email to the service center where your case was filled. The email address of the service center is listed as follows.
California Service Center: email@example.com
Vermont Service Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nebraska Service Center: email@example.com
Texas Service Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
Again if you do not receive a response from USCIS in next couple of days, proceed to step 3.
3. Infopass appointment with local service center.
Take an Infopass appointment with your local USCIS service center. It is a good idea to take an appointment during step 2 in order to get a favorable date and time. Info pass appointment can be made using the website.
Select the options: 1. Case is currently pending with USCIS and 2. EAD inquiry appointment.
Take all your relevant documents including your 485 receipt notice and your EAD receipt notice to your appointment. It is a good idea to take the proof that your employment will be terminated or you will be place under unpaid leave of absence.
In this appointment you will be given an opportunity to meet an USCIS officer. Explain your case to them and request an earliest approval possible. Based on my experience, they will not make a decision on your case, but will try to help you expedite the case.
Wait for couple of days, if you do not receive a decision then go the final step 4.
3. Send a request to OMBUDSMAN.
Send a written request to OMBUDSMAN using their form DHS Form 7001 or send an email to email@example.com
. In your email make sure you state all your details including your name, Receipt number, Alien number, Service request number the customer representative provided to you with when you called them, the details of your fax when you faxed them and your infopass appointment when and where this happened etc. Please be sure not to exercise this option unless you have followed step 1,2 and 3.
As I have stated earlier, these steps are guidelines to help you expedite the case and get a decision based on my experience and my knowledge from forums. None of them guarantee an approval or decision on time. To be on the safe side make sure you file your application 110 days before your authorization expires.
All the best.
If you have questions or feedback mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org