USCIS Increases Automatic Extension of Certain Employment Authorization Documents to Improve Access to Work Permits
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a temporary final rule (TFR) that extends the automatic extension period for certain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) from up to 180 days to up to 540 days. This change is part of efforts to improve access to work permits for eligible noncitizens and address the issue of work authorization lapses while USCIS processes EAD renewal applications. The move aims to support continuity for U.S. employers and the integration of work-authorized individuals into the workforce, reflecting the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader objectives.
USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou highlighted the agency’s success in reducing EAD processing times and managing a record number of applications, which has stressed the renewal system. The extension to 540 days is seen as a temporary solution to prevent employment interruptions and allow DHS to explore long-term strategies to support noncitizen employment authorization. USCIS’s modernization efforts include halving processing times for certain applicants, increasing the validity period for some EAD categories, expanding online filing, and engaging with communities to improve application processes.
The temporary measure applies to eligible applicants who filed an EAD renewal application on or after October 27, 2023, and those who file during the 540-day period following the rule’s publication. Without this extension, an estimated 800,000 renewal applicants and their employers would face significant disruptions. The TFR, however, does not extend the length of parole for EAD holders. USCIS is also seeking public feedback on this rule to inform potential future actions.