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IMMIGRATION EXTENDS SOME ELIGIBLE RENEWAL APPLICANTS EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION EADs)

Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for Certain Renewal Applicants: Temporary Final Rule

 

Parveen Goyal, Attorney at Law

Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for Certain Renewal Applicants: Temporary Final Rule 

The good news is some EAD validity and authorization may be extended for up to 540 days Effective May 4, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is temporarily amending existing DHS regulations related to expiring employment authorization and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for certain renewal applicants. The prior extension period of up to 180 days will automatically increase to up to 540 days from the expiration date stated on their current EADs. 

This has been done by DHS because of COVID  the processing time of I-765 and EADs had increased beyond practical levels and some employees were losing employment or could not work .

Background

By 2019, USCIS was in a precarious financial situation that impaired the efficient completion of caseloads. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these challenges in 2020, with a hiring freeze and furlough threat leading to workforce attrition and severely reduced capacity. In 2021, before USCIS could recover from these fiscal and operational impacts, there was a sudden and dramatic increase in EAD initial and renewal filings.

As a result, processing times for Form I-765 have increased to such a level that the 180-day automatic extension period for certain Form I-765 renewal applicants’ employment authorization and EADs is no longer sufficient to prevent or mitigate the risk of gaps in employment authorization and documentation, as it was originally intended.

For some applicants, the automatic extension period has already expired. As a result, these renewal DHS has determined that it is imperative to immediately increase the automatic extension period of EADs for eligible Form I-765 renewal applicants during a temporary period of time. This temporary increase will also allow USCIS an opportunity to address staffing shortages, implement additional efficiencies, and ultimately reduce processing times for EAD applications.

Who does the extension apply to?

The up to 540-day automatic EAD extension only applies to those EAD categories currently eligible for the previous up to 180-day automatic extension of employment authorization and EAD validity. USCIS will provide up to 360 days (for a total of up to 540 days) of additional automatic extension time to eligible applicants with a pending EAD renewal application on the temporary rule’s effective date and for 540 days thereafter (that is, from May 4, 2022 to Oct. 26, 2023).

Applicants with pending I-765 renewal applications as of May 4, 2022, will not receive a new receipt notice reflecting the increased EAD automatic extension period. However, Form I-797C notices that refer to a 180-day automatic extension will still meet the regulatory requirements for employment authorization. Therefore, individuals who show Form I-797C notices that refer to a 180-day extension, along with their qualifying EADs, still receive the up to 540-day extension under this rule  For additional information on EAD renewals, visit USCIS Automatic Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Extension page.

To be eligible for the 540-day automatic extension:

  1. The individual must have been issued an EAD card in one of the categories listed by USCIS. Note that DACA- and F-1 OPT-based EAD cards are not included in the automatic extension.
  2. The individual must have filed an application to renew employment authorization on Form I-765 prior to the EAD card’s expiration date.
  3. The Form I-765 must have been filed requesting an extension of employment authorization based on the same category as the expiring/expired EAD card. (Unless it is TPS based; in this case, categories A12 or C19 are used interchangeably.)
  4. The Form I-765 must remain pending and not have been denied. (Once the Form I-765 is denied, the extension period automatically ends.)

For H-4 (C26), E (A17), and L-2 (A18) dependent spouses, whose Form I-797C must be accompanied by an unexpired Form I-94 indicating H-4, E, or L-2 nonimmigrant status, the expiration date in Section 2 or 3 may not exceed the Form I-94 end date. 

 

This will help some of the EAD and/or I-765 applicants and provide a good relief as they can continue or resume employment provided they fall within one of the Categories  (certain eligible Renewal Applicants) the Categories mentioned above  to be  eligible for this Temporary Final Rule.

We strongly advise the reader to consult a professional Immigration Attorney to determine if you or your spouse qualifies under this temporary Final Rule as each case is based upon its own facts and background.

This INFORMATION has been provided by the Law offices of PARVEEN K. GOYAL, LTD, based upon information from DHS publication of Rules. Law offices of Parveen K. Goyal has been practicing Immigration and other Law for more than 30 Years and can be reached at Phone 847-584-7617

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