USCIS Boosts Work Permit Access Extends EAD Automatic Extension to 540 Days!

USCIS Boosts Work Permit Access: Extends EAD Automatic Extension to 540 Days!

USCIS has unveiled a temporary final rule (TFR) to extend the automatic extension period for specific employment authorization documents (EADs) from up to 180 days to up to 540 days. This initiative builds upon USCIS’s ongoing modernization endeavors aimed at simplifying and enhancing access to work permits for eligible noncitizens. The decision follows substantial improvements that have considerably reduced processing times for EADs over the past year.

The temporary measure aims to prevent individuals already authorized to work from facing lapses in their employment authorization while awaiting USCIS adjudication of their pending EAD renewal applications. This move also seeks to ensure continuity of operations for U.S. employers. It represents the latest action by the Biden-Harris Administration to integrate work-authorized individuals into the labor force, thereby bolstering the economies of their respective locales.

USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou stated, “Temporarily extending the existing automatic extension up to 540 days will prevent lapses in employment authorizations and provide DHS with additional time to consider long-term solutions by seeking public input and identifying new strategies.”

This temporary measure is part of USCIS’s broader effort to facilitate access to work for employment-authorized individuals. USCIS has made significant strides in reducing EAD processing times and streamlining adjudication processes. Notable achievements include cutting EAD processing times for individuals with pending green card applications by half since FY2021, processing a record number of EAD applications in the past year, and reducing processing time for EADs for asylum applicants and certain parolees to less than or equal to 30 days.

The temporary final rule will apply to eligible applicants who timely and properly filed an EAD renewal application on or after Oct. 27, 2023, if the application is still pending on the date of publication in the Federal Register. It will also apply to eligible EAD renewal applicants who timely and properly file their Form I-765 application within 540 days starting from the rule’s publication in the Federal Register.

Without this measure, nearly 800,000 EAD renewal applicants, including those eligible for employment authorization as asylees or asylum applicants, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applicants or recipients, and green card applicants, would be at risk of experiencing a lapse in their employment authorization. Approximately 60,000 to 80,000 employers would also be adversely affected.

As part of this temporary final rule, USCIS is seeking feedback from the public to inform potential future regulatory actions. For more information, visit USCIS’s Automatic Employment Authorization Document Extension page.

Source: USCIS