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USCIS ISSUES TEMPORARY FINAL RULE LENGTHENING AUTOMATIC WORK AUTHORIZATION EXTENSION FOR CERTAIN EAD RENEWAL APPLICANTS

In 2016, USCIS issued a regulation providing for the automatic extension of work authorization of up to 180 days from EAD expiration for certain EAD renewal applicants who timely file for EAD renewal in the same work authorization category and whose work authorization does not require adjudication of an underlying petition or application to establish the applicant’s eligibility for EAD renewal.

With EAD processing times having increased significantly, USCIS has determined that this auto-extension period needs to be temporarily increased to up to 540 days, to reduce the risk of EAD renewal applicants experiencing a gap in work authorization.   

On May 4, USCIS published a temporary final rule that will lengthen the automatic extension of work authorization for certain EAD renewal applicants, from the current maximum of 180 days to a new temporary maximum of 540 days from EAD expiration. This temporary lengthening of the auto-extension period will apply to certain EAD renewal applicants who have filed or will file their renewal applications on or before October 26, 2023. For more details regarding this visit: Federal Register :: Temporary Increase of the Automatic Extension Period of Employment Authorization and Documentation for Certain Renewal Applicants The new auto-extension period of up to 540 days will apply to eligible EAD applicants who have renewal applications pending on May 4, 2022, and to those who apply to renew their EADs between May 4, 2022 and October 26, 2023. To qualify for the auto-extension, the applicant must:

  • Timely file the Form I-765 EAD renewal application prior to the expiration of the current EAD;  
  • Be applying for renewal in the same work authorization category on which their current EAD is based or be renewing an EAD based on Temporary Protected Status (TPS); and 
  • Be applying under a qualifying work authorization category.

The list of EAD categories that will qualify for the lengthened auto-extension includes the following categories and corresponding eligibility codes: 

  • Adjustment of status applicants (C09); 
  • E-1, E-2, and E-3 spouses with an unexpired E-1, E-2, or E-3 I-94 (A17); 
  • L-2 spouses with an unexpired L-2 I-94 (A18); 
  • H-4 spouses with an unexpired H-4 I-94 (C26); 
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS) (A12 or C19); 
  • Refugees and asylees (A3 and A5); 
  • Noncitizens who have properly filed applications for asylum and withholding of deportation or removal (C08); and 
  • Approved self-petitioners under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and their qualified children (A31). 

F-1 STEM OPT EAD extension applicants will not be eligible for the new temporary 540-day maximum auto-extension period. Instead, they continue to be eligible for an auto-extension period of up to 180 days. The new temporary maximum 540-day auto-extension period will also apply to qualifying EAD renewal applicants with applications pending on May 4. This includes qualifying applicants who are currently not work authorized due to their current 180-day auto-extension period having expired.

As with the current maximum 180-day auto-extension period, the 540-day maximum auto-extension period will automatically cease if the EAD renewal application is denied before the end of the auto-extension period. 

We will regularly update the blog as soon as any new information is available.

Disclaimer

This article, under no circumstances, acts as legal advice; therefore, for any immigration questions, please contact your Attorney or the Ahluwalia Law Offices, P.C. (Team ALO).

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