USCIS is about to make it a lot easier for certain noncitizens to remain employment authorized. On May 3, 2022, the agency announced a new Temporary Final Rule (TPR) that automatically extends the period of employment authorization on Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) from 180 days up to 540 total days.
The automatic extension time is counted from the expiration date of the employment authorization and/or EAD. This new regulation became effective as of yesterday, May 4, 2022, and will be in effect until October 15, 2025. Once the regulation reaches its time limit, the automatic extension will revert to 180 days.
USCIS decided to issue this new policy to prevent employment interruptions for noncitizens that have pending EAD renewal applications with the agency (Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization).
Who qualifies for the automatic extension?
The additional extension of up to 540 total days will be available only to renewal applicants who timely file a Form I-765 renewal application with USCIS from the period of May 4, 2022, to October 26, 2023, and who were previously eligible to receive the 180-day automatic extension.
For those who file their Form I-765 renewal application after October 26, 2023, the normal 180-day automatic extension period will apply.
You are eligible for the automatic extension if you:
- Properly filed Form I-765 for a renewal of their employment authorization and/or EAD before their current EAD expired, and
- Were otherwise eligible for a renewal, meaning that:
- Their renewal application is under a category that is eligible for an automatic extension (see the list of categories below); and
- The Category on their current EAD matches the “Class Requested” listed on their Form I-797C Notice of Action, Receipt Notice. (Note: If you are a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiary or pending applicant, your EAD and this Notice must contain either the A12 or C19 category, but the categories do not need to match each other. In addition, for H-4, E, and L-2 dependent spouses, an unexpired Form I-94 indicating H-4, E, or L-2 nonimmigrant status (including E-1S, E-2S, E-3S, and L-2S class of admission codes) must accompany Form I-797C when presenting proof of employment authorization to an employer for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, purposes).
Which categories are eligible?
You must be in one of the following employment eligible categories to be eligible to receive an automatic extension of up to 540 days and your renewal application must be timely filed by October 26, 2023: