To reduce gaps in employment for noncitizens with pending Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), and to reduce caseloads, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced in a new Temporary Final Rule that the employment authorization and EAD automatic extension period for certain applicants will increase from 180 days to 540 days. The increase will take effect on May 4, 2022.
Eligible applicants must have filed a Form I-765 for renewal of their employment authorization/EAD before the current EAD expired. The application must be in a category that is eligible for renewal, and the category on the current EAD must match the “Class Requested” on your Form I-797C. View a complete breakdown of eligibility on the USCIS website.
The reason for the 360-day increase to the automatic extension period is to help reduce EAD caseloads for USCIS, avoid gaps in employment for those with pending EAD applications, and to shore up operations at US employers.
According to USCIS director Ur M. Jaddou, “As USCIS works to address pending EAD caseloads, the agency has determined that the current 180-day automatic extension for employment authorization is currently insufficient. This temporary rule will provide those noncitizens otherwise eligible for the automatic extension an opportunity to maintain employment and provide critical support for their families, while avoiding further disruption for U.S. employers.”
This increase in the automatic extension period is what is known as a Temporary Final Rule (TFR). Starting October 27, 2023, automatic extensions will return to the previous 180-day period for eligible applicants who file their Form I-765 in a timely manner.
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