Automatic 180-Day Extension Granted to Certain Renewal Applicants for Employment Authorization

Certain individuals renewing their employment authorization through Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, are now eligible for an automatic extension of up to 180 days for their expiring employment authorization and/or employment authorization documents (EADs) while their renewal application is under review. This extension is applicable to those who have applied for or received Temporary Protected Status or asylum.

It is important to note that, despite operational improvements and efforts to expedite EAD processing, the recent change is not retroactive. Previous extensions of up to 540 days, announced through a temporary final rule (TFR) in May 2022, will continue for eligible applicants.

USCIS is currently assessing the need for new regulatory actions, considering past and ongoing efforts to enhance EAD processing. The automatic extensions for employment authorization and EAD validity will follow the original up to 180-day period for applicants who timely file Form I-765 renewal applications on or after Oct. 27, 2023, as per the 2022 TFR announcement.

For individuals with an increased automatic extension period under the TFR, this extension will cease upon the receipt of a final decision on their renewal application or when the up to 540-day period expires (counted from the EAD expiration date), whichever occurs earlier.

Meanwhile, USCIS has updated the Policy Manual, extending the maximum EAD validity period to five years for certain categories, including those employment authorized due to status or circumstance, such as refugees, asylees, and individuals with withholding of removal. USCIS is committed to minimizing employment gaps and reducing EAD processing times, dedicating additional resources and implementing improvements to achieve a median processing time of 30 days for select EAD applications.

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