On September 9, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register aimed at (1) removing a regulatory provision which states that USCIS has 30 days from the date an asylum applicant files the initial Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (EAD), to grant or deny the initial employment authorization application and (2) removing a provision that requires an asylum applicant to submit an I-765 Renewal of Employment Authorization to USCIS 90 days prior to the expiration of the employment authorization document’s validity.
Why the Change?
Initial applications for employment authorization from pending asylum applicants are the only category of employment authorization applications adjudicated by USCIS that have a required processing timeline attached to them.
Because of this, the agency must frequently divert resources away from other legal immigration application processing categories in order to meet the 30-day deadline for asylum seekers. These categories include family members of certain high skilled employees and those seeking adjustment of status in the United States, among others.
The proposed regulation is meant to improve the process for granting or denying an initial application for employment authorization documents (EADs) by reforming the current 30-day timeline pertaining to pending asylum applicants.