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USCIS increases automatic document extension period due to long processing times

08 May

Update Applicable to:Effective date
All employers eligible for automatic extension of periodSee Details Below

What happened?

On 8 April 2024, US Citizenship and Immigration Services published a temporary final rule increasing the automatic extension period for certain employment authorization documents (EAD) to up to 540 days.

What are the details?

The temporary measure announced is aimed at preventing already work-authorized noncitizens from having their employment authorization and documentation lapse while waiting for USCIS to adjudicate their pending certain employment authorization documents (EADs) renewal applications and better ensure continuity of operations for U.S. employers. 

This is because “…we also received a record number of employment authorization applications, impacting our renewal mechanisms” said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou.

Employees must have one of these qualifying eligibility categories to receive an automatic extension of their employment authorization and/or EAD validity: A03, A05, A07, A08, A10, A17*, A18*, C08, C09, C10, C16, C20, C22, C24, C26*, C31, and A12 or C19. (Categories Eligible for Automatic Extensions)

Regarding Form I-797C, individuals in the categories covered by this rule who are issued Form I-797C notices with a Received Date of October 27, 2023, through the day preceding April 8, 2024 that refer to a 180-day extension, along with their qualifying EADs, still receive the extension of up to 540 days from the date on the face of the EAD under this rule. For additional details.

Business Considerations

  • Employers should familiarize themselves with the Temporary Final Rule (TFR) that increases the automatic extension period for employment authorization and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) from up to 180 days to up to 540 days.
  • Employers should identify employees who are eligible for this extension, according to the categories. 
  • Employers should ensure that eligible employees have timely filed their Form I-765 renewal application because the rule applies to eligible applicants with a timely-filed Form I-765 renewal application pending during the 18 months after publication of the TFR.
  • Employers should use the rule to avoid disruptions in their operations due to gaps in employment authorization for noncitizens with pending EAD renewal applications.
  • Employers should keep track of the expiration dates of their employees’ EADs, because if they are with a pending EAD renewal application whose 180-day automatic extension has lapsed and whose EAD has expired will be granted an additional period of employment authorization and EAD validity, beginning on May 4, 2022, and lasting up to 540 days from the expiration date of their EAD.
  • Employers can check their case in the Case Status Online, consult their case processing time in USCIS Check Case Processing Times, or log in here.

Source References


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