Client Advisory: USCIS Announces Temporary Final Rule Extending the Automatic Extension Period of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for Certain Applicants

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On May 4th, 2022, USCIS announced a new rule from DHS temporarily increasing the automatic extension period for EAD eligible renewal applicants. The automatic extension period begins the date of expiration on the EAD (Employment Authorization Document) for a new total of 540 days.  The previous rule provided 180 days from the expiration of EAD; therefore this new ruling is adding an additional 360 days to that extension.

According to 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.”

USCIS faced numerous challenges in 2020 with Covid-19 and a hiring freeze directly affecting the EAD process which caused staffing shortages leading to a backlog in applications.  In 2021, there was a substantial increase in applications adding to the already overflowing backlog and causing further delay and disruption.  This new rule aims to allow those individuals to continue working while giving USCIS time to process more applications.

Do I Qualify?

To qualify for the automatic extension, you must have:

  • Properly filed an I-765 application for renewal of your EAD before the current EAD expired
  • Your application is in the category that is eligible for automatic extension (see below)
  • Your I-765 renewal application was filed before May 4th, 2022, on both expired and not yet expired extensions as well as those filed between May 4th, 2022 – October 26th, 2023.

Categories- A: 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 17, 18 and C: 8, 9, 10, 16, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26**, 31

** C-26: To qualify for the automatic extension you also need a current, unexpired I-94 record.

What Does This Mean if My EAD Have Already Expired?

Beginning today, May 4th, 2022, your EAD validity will automatically resume assuming you are still within the 540-day period from the time of EAD expiration.

If you have any questions regarding this new temporary rule, please reach out to your attorney for more information.

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