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USCIS Expands Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization Documents for Enhanced Work Permit Access



WASHINGTON, TX- Building on extensive modernization efforts that have streamlined and improved access to work permits for eligible noncitizens, USCIS today announced a temporary final rule (TFR) aimed at extending the automatic extension period for certain employment authorization documents (EADs) from up to 180 days to up to 540 days. This announcement follows significant improvements that have substantially reduced processing times for EADs over the past year.

The temporary measure unveiled today aims to prevent already work-authorized noncitizens from experiencing a lapse in their employment authorization and documentation while awaiting USCIS adjudication of their pending EAD renewal applications. This initiative seeks to ensure uninterrupted operations for U.S. employers. It represents the latest step by the Biden-Harris Administration to integrate work-authorized individuals into the workforce, thereby supporting the economies in which they reside.

“Over the past year, the USCIS workforce has made considerable strides in reducing processing times for most EAD categories, aligning with our overarching objective to enhance work access for eligible individuals. However, the surge in employment authorization applications has strained our renewal mechanisms,” stated USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou. “Extending the existing automatic extension period up to 540 days on a temporary basis will help avoid disruptions in employment authorizations. Concurrently, this rule affords DHS an additional timeframe to explore long-term solutions by soliciting public feedback and identifying new strategies to ensure that noncitizens eligible for employment authorization can maintain that benefit.”

This TFR aligns with USCIS’s ongoing efforts to facilitate access to work for employment-authorized individuals. USCIS has achieved reductions in EAD processing times overall and streamlined adjudication processes, including:
• Halving EAD processing times for individuals with pending green card applications from FY2021 to date,

• Processing a record number of EAD applications in the past year, surpassing previous years,

• Collaborating with communities to educate work-eligible individuals who have not engaged in the process and offering on-the-ground support for application intake,

• Reducing processing time for EADs for asylum applicants and certain parolees to a median of 30 days or less,

• Extending the validity period of certain categories of EADs from 2 years to 5 years,

• Simplifying the process for refugee EADs, and

• Expanding online filing for EADs to include asylum applications and parolees.

This temporary measure will apply to eligible applicants who timely and correctly filed an EAD renewal application on or after October 27, 2023, if the application is still pending on the date of publication in the Federal Register. The temporary final rule will also apply to eligible EAD renewal applicants who timely and properly file their Form I-765 application during a 540-day period that begins with 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 risk experiencing a lapse in their employment authorization, affecting approximately 60,000 to 80,000 employers negatively. EADs are generally valid for the length of the authorized parole period. This TFR does not extend the length of parole.

From May 12, 2023, to March 13, 2024, DHS has removed or returned over 617,000 individuals, with the vast majority crossing the Southwest Border, including more than 97,000 individual family members. The majority of all individuals encountered at the southwest border over the past three years have been removed, returned, or expelled. Total removals and returns since mid-May exceed those in every full fiscal year since 2011.

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




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