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DHS Announces Temporary Increase of the Automatic Extension Period of Employment Authorization and Documentation for Certain Renewal Applicants

May 03, 2022
Ana Valenzuela

In light of increased processing times, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is announcing a temporary increase of the automatic extension for certain renewal applicants in order to avoid a lapse in employment authorization and/or documentation while their applications remain pending.

Under the current provision, certain employment eligibility categories receive an automatic extension of their EAD for up to 180 days if certain conditions are met. This automatic extension is implemented to prevent gaps in applicants’ employment authorization while they waited for issuance of their renewed EAD.  Unfortunately, increased backlogs within DHS have delayed processing of renewal applications which resulted in many applications remaining pending even after the 180-day extension had lapsed.  As such, many applicants risked losing their employment.

The new rule will increase the automatic extension issued for certain employment authorization documents from 180 days to up to 540 days from the date of expiration stated on their current EADs.  This increase will be available to eligible renewal applicants with pending Forms I-765 as of May 4, 2022, including those applicants whose employment authorization may have lapsed following the initial 180-day extension period.  This rule will also apply to any applicant who files a renewal Form I-765 during the 540-day period beginning on or after May 4, 2022 and ending October 26, 2023.

Applicants with currently pending EAD renewal applications whose 180-day automatic extension has lapsed and whose EAD has already expired will be granted an additional period of employment authorization and EAD validity, beginning on May 4, 2022 and lasting up to 540 days from the expiration date of their EAD.  If those applicants are still within the 540-day automatic extension period, they can resume their employment.  Applicants who are still covered under the 180-day automatic extension will be granted an additional up to 360-day extension, for a total of up to 540 days past the expiration of the current EAD.

An applicant will qualify for the automatic extension if:

  • The renewal applicants timely file an application to renew their employment authorization and/or EAD on Form I-765 before the EAD expires; and
  • The renewal Form I-765 is based on the same employment authorization category on the front of the expiring EAD or is for an individual approved for TPS whose EAD was issued pursuant to 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(19).

If these conditions are met, an EAD that that has already expired is considered “unexpired” when combined with a Form I-797C, Notice of Action (Receipt Notice) indicating that the application for renewal was timely filed and in the same category as the prior EAD.

Only certain employment eligible categories are eligible for an automatic extension.  For a list of these categories, please see: https://www.uscis.gov/eadautoextend.

If you need assistance renewing your employment authorization document, do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 427-6163 or schedule a consultation online.

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