USCIS Increases Automatic Extension of Certain Employment Authorization Documents to 540 Days

April 5, 2024

USCIS today announced a temporary final rule (TFR) to increase the automatic extension period for certain employment authorization documents (EADs) from up to 180 days to up to 540 days. The EAD eligibility categories auto-extended by the temporary final rule are, among other categories, those for asylum applicants (c)(8), for cancellation of removal applicants (c)(10), and spouses of H-1B principal nonimmigrants with H-4 nonimmigrant status (c)(26).

This announcement is welcome news for those foreign nationals who have been adversely impacted by the delays in EAD processing. The temporary measure announced today will prevent already work-authorized noncitizens from having their employment authorization and documentation lapse while waiting for USCIS to adjudicate their pending EAD renewal applications.  This will also better ensure continuity of operations for U.S. employers.

This temporary measure will apply to eligible applicants who timely and properly filed an EAD renewal application on or after Oct. 27, 2023, if the application is still pending on the date of publication in the Federal Register.

The rationale for the automatic extension was described by USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou in his public statement on the matter. “Over the last year, the USCIS workforce reduced processing times for most EAD categories, supporting an overall goal to improve work access to eligible individuals.  However, we also received a record number of employment authorization applications, impacting our renewal mechanisms.  Temporarily lengthening the existing automatic extension up to 540 days will avoid lapses in employment authorizations. At the same time, this rule provides DHS with an additional window to consider long-term solutions by soliciting public comments, and identifying new strategies to ensure those noncitizens eligible for employment authorization can maintain that benefit.”

If you have any questions about how this change may affect your individual situation, please contact the attorney at LHSCD working on your case.  If you would like to arrange a consultation with one of our attorneys, please proceed to our Consultation Request Form.

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