Articles Posted in EAD Renewal

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As the new year approaches, we have some unfortunate news to report for certain employment-based applicants who may wish to file their petitions with premium processing service in 2024, including those filing:

  • Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
  • Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, as well as
  • Certain applicants filing Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization and
  • I-539 Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status with USCIS.

On December 28, 2023, USCIS published a final rule in the Federal Register that will increase the filing fee for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, to adjust for inflation.

The final rule states that starting February 26, 2024, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will increase the premium processing fees USCIS charges for all eligible forms and categories to reflect the amount of inflation from June 2021 through June 2023 according to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.

Please note that not all petitions are eligible to request premium processing service. Applicants may only request premium processing if USCIS has specifically designated your classification as one that is eligible for premium processing service. To determine whether premium processing is available for your benefit request please review the USCIS webpage.

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It’s a brand-new week full of important updates from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This time for employment authorization documents (EADs).

Recently, USCIS announced that certain applicants who have filed to renew their employment authorization cards (EADs) on Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, may qualify for an automatic extension of their expiring employment authorization and/or employment authorization documents (EADs) while their renewal applications are pending with USCIS.

Beginning October 27, 2023, those who are eligible will receive 180-day automatic extensions of their EADs, including those who have applied for or have received Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or asylum.

Previously, USCIS had passed a regulation that increased the automatic extension period for certain EAD applicants from 180 days to 540 days. This announcement will not impact EADs that were already issued for up to the 540-day period. Those extensions will remain in place. For such individuals, the increased automatic extension will end when they receive a final decision on their renewal application or when the “up to 540-day period” expires (counted from the expiration date of the employment authorization and/or their EAD), whichever comes earlier.

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We are pleased to report that the Department of Homeland Security recently issued a notice in the Federal Register extending Venezuela’s designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an 18-month period.

Those who qualify will be eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that is valid for the duration of the TPS designation.


Who qualifies?


You may be eligible to apply for TPS under Venezuela’s 2023 designation if you continuously resided in the United States on or before July 31, 2023, and have been continuously physically present in the United State on or before October 3, 2023.

However, if you arrived in the United States after July 31, 2023, you are ineligible for TPS.

It is estimated that Venezuela’s redesignation will allow approximately estimated 472,000 additional Venezuelan nationals to file an initial TPS application. Approximately 243,000 current beneficiaries will be allowed to retain their TPS benefits upon their re-registration.

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It’s official. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that it will be increasing the validity period of work permits also known as Employment Authorization Documents (EADS) to 5 years, for certain categories of noncitizens who are employment authorized incident to their immigration status and those who must apply for employment authorization including:

  • Refugees
  • Asylees
  • Noncitizens paroled as Refugees
  • Noncitizens granted Withholding of Removal
  • Noncitizens with pending applications for Asylum or Withholding of Removal
  • Noncitizens with pending applications for Adjustment of Status (green cards) under INA 245
  • Noncitizens seeking Suspension of Deportation or Cancellation of Removal

Additionally, USCIS has released policy guidance clarifying that the Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) may be used as evidence of an alien’s status and employment authorization for certain EAD categories that are employment authorized incident to their immigration status or parole.

These changes can be found in the USCIS Policy Manual, and are also described in USCIS Policy Alert 2023-27 dated September 27, 2023.


What’s changed?


Previously, USCIS policy allowed for a maximum 2-year validity period of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for most categories of immigrants indicated above, and a maximum 1-year validity period for noncitizens paroled as refugees and those seeking suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal.

USCIS is now revising its guidelines to increase the maximum EAD validity period for these categories up to 5 years.

The purpose of increasing the validity period is to reduce the frequency in which noncitizens must file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization to renew their work permits (EADs).

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On September 20, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a fact sheet unveiling new actions to cut down the processing time of work authorizations filed by certain asylum seekers.

Starting October 1, 2023, USCIS will speed up the processing of Form I-765 Applications for Employment Authorization, (also known as EADs) filed by parolees who schedule an inspection appointment through CBP One. Such individuals are eligible to apply for employment authorization immediately.

USCIS aims to decrease average processing times for EADs from 90 days to 30 days for such individuals and will allocate more personnel and resources to accomplish this objective.

Additionally, USCIS seeks to decrease average processing times to just 30 days for EADs filed in connection with the Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan parole programs.

Finally, to improve efficiency, USCIS will also be increasing the maximum validity period of initial and renewal EADs to five years for certain noncitizens, including:

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If you have been waiting for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to reopen in-person appointments, then this topic may interest you.

Recently, USCIS announced the launch of a new procedure to request an in-person appointment at a local USCIS field office by completing an online form. This form may be used by individuals, attorneys, and accredited representatives without the need to call the USCIS Contact Center.

The online appointment request form is currently available for use on the USCIS webpage and allows for in-person appointment requests at local field offices, only for ADIT stamps, Emergency Advance Parole (EAP), Immigration Judge Grants, Afghan Special Immigrant CPR Status, Certified Copies of Naturalization Certificate, Deferred Action, T, U, and VAWA Inquiries, I-94 Cuban Paroles and Re-Paroles, Lost Immigration Visa Packets, and more.

For more information about ADIT stamps, Emergency Advance Parole, and Immigration Judge Grants, etc. click here.

The online request system does not support self-scheduling, but individuals are allowed to request a specific date and time for an in-person appointment when making an online request. However, please keep in mind that USCIS cannot guarantee that the requested appointment date will be scheduled.

Once an online appointment request has been made, the USCIS Contact Center will review submissions along with the availability of in-person appointments at a specific field office. USCIS will then confirm and schedule the individual for an available in-person appointment date and time.

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Did you know?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced the expansion of the myProgress online tool (formerly known as personalized processing times) to include Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.


What is myProgress?


The myProgress online tool allows applicants to view personalized estimates for important milestones in their cases, including final decision-making on their cases, directly from their online USCIS accounts.


How do I use myProgress?


To take advantage of myProgress, you must sign up for an online USCIS account or log into an existing online account and select your pending application.

If you have electronically filed your application or linked one of the applicable forms to your online account using an online access code, you will see a myProgress tab for your application.

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In this post, we share with you some great news for Somalian nationals under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States.

The Biden administration has made the decision to extend Temporary Protected Status for Somalian nationals currently receiving protections under the program for 18 months from March 18, 2023 through September 17, 2024.

A notice has been published in the Federal Register with information about how to register for TPS under Somalia’s designation.

The main benefit of applying for TPS protections is that those who are approved can remain in the country on a lawful basis, will receive protection against deportation (deferred status), and are eligible to apply for employment authorization and travel permission by filing, Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-131 Application for Travel Document, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The registration process for Somalia began on Monday, March 13, 2023 and will end on May 9, 2023.


Extension of Designation of Somalia for TPS


On January 12, 2023, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, announced an 18-month extension and re-designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the country of Somalia. This extension and re-designation will be in effect from March 18, 2023, through September 17, 2024 (an 18-month period).

Secretary Mayorkas made this decision after consulting with government officials and taking into consideration the ongoing armed conflict in Somalia, along with natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and worsening humanitarian crisis. Somalia continues to be impacted by terrorism, violent crime, civil unrest, and fighting amongst clan militias making it necessary to extend the designation of Somalia for TPS.

The extension of TPS for Somalia will allow approximately 430 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through September 17, 2024, if they re-register and continue to meet TPS eligibility requirements.

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The moment we have been waiting for has finally arrived.

Yesterday, March 6, 2023, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the expansion of premium processing services for certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 students seeking science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT extensions who have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and wish to request a premium processing upgrade.

As of yesterday, March 6th USCIS has made possible the online filing of Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for F-1 students in these categories. USCIS will also accept the latest edition of the Form I-907 by mail.

In support of this move, USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou said, “The availability of premium processing for certain F-1 students, in addition to the ease of online filing, will streamline the immigration experience for a great many international students.”

Regarding the decision to make online filing of Form I-907 available, he stated, “The ongoing expansion of online filing is a priority for USCIS as we continue to create operational efficiencies and increase access to the immigration system for stakeholders, applicants, petitioners, requestors, and those we serve.”

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In this blog post, we give you an update on the status of the proposed rule increasing the filing fees for certain applications and petitions filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

As you may remember, on January 4, 2023, USCIS published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register proposing an increase in the filing fees of many types of applications, including but not limited to, the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, N-400 Application for Naturalization, I-129F petition for alien fiancé(e), Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence, Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker for H, L, and O classifications, Form I-526 Immigrant Petition for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, among many others.

The proposed rule also sought to do the following:

  • Incorporate biometrics costs into the main benefit fee and remove the separate biometric services fee
  • Require separate filing fees for Form I-485 and associated Form I-131 and Form I-765 filings
  • Establish separate fees for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, by nonimmigrant classification.
  • Revise the premium processing timeframe interpretation from 15 calendar days to 15 business days
  • Create lower fees for certain immigration forms filed online.

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, before the government can implement a proposed rule they must abide by a mandatory notice-and-comment rule-making process. This includes offering a public comment period of at least 60 days from the date of the NPRM’s publication in the Federal Register.

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