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Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization Cards (EAD) Increased to 540 Days for Certain Visas

by Jennifer Grady, Esq.


In light of continued processing delays at USCIS, a temporary final rule has been announced to automatically increase Employment Authorization Card extensions from 180 days, to 540 days. The extension will begin from the expiration date of the employment authorization and/or EAD, and is available for applicants with pending Form I-765 applications that were filed before May 4, 2022. The new rule will apply to eligible applicants and remain valid between May 4, 2022 and October 26, 2023. The hope is that the automatic extension will prevent gaps in employment authorization as the USCIS works through a backlog of applications to catch up to normal processing times. Please see the chart below for a list of eligible categories.


HOW TO QUALIFY FOR AN AUTOMATIC EXTENSION


To qualify for this extension, you:

  • Properly filed Form I-765 for a renewal of your employment authorization and/or EAD before your current EAD expired, and

  • Are otherwise eligible for a renewal, which means that:

  • Your renewal application is under a category that is eligible for an automatic extension (see the list of categories below); and

  • The Category on your current EAD matches the “Class Requested” listed on your Form I-797C Notice of Action, Receipt Notice. (Note: If you are a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiary or pending applicant, your EAD and this Notice must contain either the A12 or C19 category, but the categories do not need to match each other. In addition, for H-4, E, and L-2 dependent spouses, an unexpired Form I-94 indicating H-4, E, or L-2 nonimmigrant status (including E-1S, E-2S, E-3S, and L-2S class of admission codes) must accompany Form I-797C when presenting proof of employment authorization to an employer for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, purposes).


Applications that are filed after October 26, 2023 will default to the original 180 day extension period for EADs.


PROOF OF AUTOMATIC EXTENSION


Applicants who file Form I-765 on or after May 4, 2022 will receive a Form I-797C Notice of Action receipt notice from USCIS with information regarding the 540 day automatic extension. The notice, in combination with the expired EAD (and your unexpired Form I-94, if you are an H-4, E, or L-2 dependent spouse, including E-1S, E-2S, E-3S and L-2S class of admission codes), will be your proof of employment authorization during the extension period.


For those who filed Form I-765 prior to May 4, 2022, USCIS provided a Form I-797C Notice of Action receipt notice detailing the 180-day automatic extension. A new Notice of Action will not be provided regarding the 540-day extension, but the combination of the original receipt notice with your EAD (and also your unexpired Form I-94, if you are an H-4, E, or L-2 dependent spouse, including E-1S, E-2S, E-3S and L-2S class of admission codes), will suffice as proof of the extension. In this case, the extension period starts on the expiration date of the current EAD.


Last but not least, for renewal applicants whose 180 day automatic extension ended prior to May 4, 2022, the employment authorization will automatically resume on May 4, 2022. However, the 540-day automatic extension is calculated from the expiration date on the front of the EAD. (If you are an H-4, E, or L-2 dependent spouse, including E-1S, E-2S, E-3S and L-2S class of admission codes, count up to either 540 days or the expiration date on Form I-94, whichever is earlier.)


CATEGORIES ELIGIBLE FOR AUTOMATIC EXTENSION


Please review the chart below for a breakdown of the categories eligible for an automatic extension:



WANT TO LEARN MORE?


Are you interested in learning more about how this automatic extension may affect you? Schedule a call with us to determine whether you are eligible. Please contact our office at info@gradyfirm.com, or call us at (949) 798-6298. You can also schedule a call directly on our website.

The Grady Firm works with dynamic employers and employees across the country to prepare successful employment-based visa and Green Card applications. In addition, we help individuals, families, employees, business owners, and investors obtain non-immigrant and immigrant visas (B-1/B2, H-1B, H-2B, L-1A, L-1B, O-1, TN, E-2, E-3), as well and Green Cards and citizenship based on family relationships, investment, or employment.


Click here to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with The Grady Firm’s attorneys; call +1 (949) 798-6298; or fill out a Contact Request Form.


This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular matter, as each matter has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by a licensed attorney.