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What is an EAD?

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is a work permit issued to individuals in many different immigration categories. If you are eligible for an EAD, you may submit an application on Form I-765 to USCIS and start working only after receiving the card in hand.

Expiration dates of EADs vary based on the category under which the applicant applies (H4, L2S, etc.). To renew the card, you have to file a new application with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In some cases, USCIS allows applicants to keep working while their renewal is pending even if the old card expires before the new one is granted. Where applicable, USCIS has historically granted an automatic 180-day extension to work.

Why is the automatic extension period being increased?

Due to enduring long processing times, USCIS has temporarily increased the automatic extension period for up to 540 days, while an EAD renewal application is pending. A Temporary Final Rule formalized this, which will remain active through October 26, 2023. After October 26, 2023, USCIS has the intention to revert to 180-day automatic extensions.

How do I know if I am eligible for the additional extension to work authorization?

  • You timely filed your Form I-765 before the date that your current EAD expired or within the applicable filing period for TPS applicants.
  • You are applying to renew your EAD in the same category as your previous EAD. (There is an exception for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries or pending applicants: their EAD and renewal application must contain either the A12 or C19 category, but the categories do not have to match each other.)
  • Your eligibility for employment authorization is NOT dependent on the adjudication of another benefit.

What EAD categories are eligible for the 540-day automatic extension to work authorization?

(a)(3)   Refugee
(a)(5)   Asylee
(a)(7)   N-8 or N-9
(a)(8)   Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau
(a)(10) Withholding of Deportation or Removal Granted
(a)(12) Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Granted
(a)(17) Spouse of principal E nonimmigrant with an unexpired I-94 showing E nonimmigrant status
(a)(18) Spouse of principal L-1 Nonimmigrant with an unexpired I-94 showing L-2 nonimmigrant status
(c)(8)   Asylum Application Pending
(c)(9)   Pending Adjustment of Status under Section 245 of the Act
(c)(10) Suspension of Deportation Applicants (filed before April 1, 1997)
Cancellation of Removal Applicants
Special Rule Cancellation of Removal Applicants Under NACARA
(c)(16) Creation of Record (Adjustment Based on Continuous Residence Since January 1, 1972)
(c)(19) Pending initial application for TPS where USCIS determines applicant is prima facie eligible for TPS and can receive an EAD as a “temporary treatment benefit”.
(c)(20) Section 210 Legalization (pending I-700)
(c)(22) Section 245A Legalization (pending I-687)
(c)(24) LIFE Legalization
(c)(26) Spouses of certain H-1B principal nonimmigrants with an unexpired I-94 showing H-4 nonimmigrant status
(c)(31) VAWA Self-Petitioners

If your company needs more information on how the additional EAD extension rule works for your foreign national employees, please reach out to Zulkie Partners for a consultation!