U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have increased the automatic extension period for work permits up to 540 days for certain applicants.
This measure, as a Temporary Final Rule (TFL), arises from a context in which USCIS are fiscally and operationally impacted, situations exacerbated by the challenges brought on by the pandemic and an overwhelming increase in Employment Authorization Document (EAD) renewal applications; which also seeks to ensure that eligible noncitizens applicants have the opportunity to maintain their employment and provide crucial support to their families.
Hence, EAD categories that are currently entitled to an automatic 180-day extension, the TFR will provide them with an additional 360 days automatically, for a total of 540 days. This accommodates applicants who timely apply for Form I-765 renewal during the 18-month period after the measure takes effect on May 4, 2022 with the publication of the TFR. Specifically, this means that:
- Noncitizens whose EAD has a pending renewal application and the 180 days have already expired will receive an additional period of EAD validity beginning May 4, 2022, and lasting up to 540 days from the expiration date of their EAD.
- Noncitizens with a pending renewal application that is still covered by the automatic 180-day extension will be granted an additional extension of up to 360 days, for a total of up to 540 days after the expiration of the current EAD.
- Noncitizens with a pending renewal application and a currently valid EAD and who timely file a Form I-765 renewal application by October 27, 2023, will be granted an automatic extension of up to 540 days.
This provisional timeframe will allow USCIS to address staffing shortages, process the overwhelming backlog of cases, and reach the goal of a 3-month cycle for EAD applications by the end of FY 2023. After which time extensions will revert to the 180-day period for eligible applicants.