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  • Emily McIntosh

USCIS Increases EAD Automatic Extension

May 03, 2022 - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that they are increasing the automatic extension period for Employment Authorization Documents from 180 day to 540 days.

What is an EAD?

The EAD stands for Employment Authorization Document. This is the card that is given to individuals by USCIS depicting work authorization in the U.S. without requiring a work visa.

What is the automatic extension?

USCIS had announced that given the delays in processing EADs, they would automatically extend the EAD status by 180 days if the extension petition was filed before the expiration date. Now, the agency will add an additional 360 days to the original 180 days of extension. Thus giving foreign national up to 540 days of extension while they wait for their new EAD card.

Who is eligible for the automatic extension?

The following visa categories will be eligible for the extension, among others that USCIS listed -

  • L-2 (spouses of foreign nationals on L-1 visas)

  • H-4 (spouses of foreign nationals on H-1B visas)

  • Spouses of foreign nationals on E visas

  • Foreign nationals with pending asylum cases

Note - this rule does not apply to foreign nationals on F-1 EAD

When does this extension go into effect?

This new temporary rule will go into effect on May 04, 2022

Why is this a temporary rule?

USCIS has allowed the 540 days extension until Oct 27, 2023. After which the rule will revert back to 180 days extension only.

Does the employee need to file additional paperwork for the added extension?

No. USCIS will award the added extension to all eligible applicants with a timely-filed Form I-765 renewal application pending during the 18-month period after May 04, 2022 while USCIS continues to work through pending caseloads.


Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a WayLit-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.


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