USCIS recently announced updated guidance to increase the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) validity period for eligible recipients. In some cases, the validity period may be up to 5 years for both initial and renewal applications. This will be available for certain noncitizens who are authorized for employment, including: refugees, noncitizens paroled as refugees, asylees, recipients of withholding of removal, applicants for asylum or withholding of removal, applicants for adjustment of status, and applicants for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal. USCIS chose to extend the validity period to reduce backlog and shorten processing times. This change will also significantly reduce the paperwork burden of frequent renewal and improve professional stability for EAD recipients. It’s important to understand that the EAD is dependent upon underlying status, so if, for example, a pending adjustment of status is denied, the EAD will be terminated prior to the expiration date stated on the EAD. Also notably, this change does not affect the validity period for Advance Parole. This updated policy guidance applies to any Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, currently pending or filed on or after Sept. 27, 2023.
This new guidance also clarifies which noncitizens are automatically authorized to work and entitled to provide their Form I-94, accompanied by an identifying document, to show work authorization. This also applies to certain Afghan and Ukrainian parolees.
If you have questions about whether USCIS’ updated guidance affects your work authorization eligibility, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 427-6163.
The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.
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