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USCIS Grants 540-Day Extension of Work Authorization for Some EAD Renewal Applicants

3 May

On May 3, 2022, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a Temporary Final Rule that will increase the automatic work authorization period from 180 days to 540 days for some timely filed Employment Authorization Document (EAD/I-765) renewal applicants. This change is set to go into effect on May 4, 2022, and last until October 27, 2023.

The expanded automatic extension period will only apply to some EAD renewal classifications that already benefit from a 180-day automatic extension, including those related to the following:

  • Refugees and asylees,
  • Temporary protected status (TPS), 
  • Applicants with a pending adjustment of status, and
  • Spouses of certain H-1B, E, and L-1 principal nonimmigrants with an unexpired I-94 showing continued nonimmigrant status validity periods. Notably, the automatic extension does not apply if the dependent spouse’s extension of status remains pending along with the EAD renewal application.

Individuals with a timely filed EAD renewal will be able to take advantage of the new 540-day automatic work authorization extension even if their initial 180-day automatic extension has lapsed. This means that, beginning May 4, 2022, individuals with pending EAD renewals who have been forced to stop working because the initial 180-day automatic extension period has lapsed will be able to resume employment for a period of up to 540-days after the expiration of their EAD.

The automatic extension will end upon notification of a final decision on the renewal application or the end of the 540-day period (540 days after the expiration of the EAD), whichever comes earlier.

Foster will continue to monitor changes in USCIS programs, regulations, and guidance and will make future updates available via the firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.