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:
- 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.
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).
The new policy manual
- Updates the maximum validity period for initial and renewal EADs from 2 years to 5 years for those admitted as refugees, granted asylum, and granted withholding of deportation or removal.
- Updates the maximum validity period for initial and renewal EADs from 2 years to 5 years for those with pending applications for asylum or withholding of removal and those with pending applications for adjustment of status (green cards) under INA 245.
- Updates the maximum validity period for initial and renewal EADs from 1 year to 5 years for those with pending applications for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal.
- Updates the maximum validity period for initial and renewal EADs from 1 year to the end date of the authorized parole period, not to exceed 5 years, for those paroled as refugees.
- Lists the categories of noncitizens with employment authorization incident to status whose Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record is evidence of employment authorization as well as of their immigration status.
- Clarifies that certain Afghan parolees and certain Ukrainian parolees are employment authorized incident to their parole.
To read the updated policy guidance, please click here.
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- USCIS Policy Alert: Employment Authorization Document Validity Period for Certain Categories
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- I-765 Application for Work Authorization
- October Visa Bulletin
- Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB-4) Announcement
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- Immigrant Visa Backlog Report
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