USCIS increases automatic EAD extension to 540 days for eligible categories

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a Temporary Final Rule (TFR) effective May 4, 2022 that increases the automatic extension period for employment authorization and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to up to 540 days.

In response to the agency’s pending caseloads compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS has determined the current 180-day automatic extension period to be insufficient. The rule only applies to EAD categories currently eligible for an automatic extension of up to 180 days, including but not limited to:

  • a3 – Refugee;
  • a5 – Asylee;
  • a10 – Withholding of Deportation or Removal Granted;
  • a12 – Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Granted;
  • c8 – Asylum Application Pending;
  • c9 – Pending Adjustment of Status under Section 245 of the Act; and
  • c10 – Cancellation of Removal Applicants, Suspension of Deportation Applicants (filed before April 1, 1997), Special Rule Cancellation of Removal Applicants Under NACARA.

It will temporarily provide up to 360 days of additional automatic extension time (for a total of up to 540 days) to eligible applicants with a timely-filed Form I-765 renewal application pending during the 18-month period after publication of the TFR.

Furthermore, USCIS has announced that:

  • applicants with a pending I-765 renewal application whose 180-day automatic extension has lapsed and whose EAD has 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, such that they may resume employment if they are still within the up to 540-day automatic extension period and are otherwise eligible;
  • applicants with a pending renewal application 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; and
  • applicants with a pending renewal application and valid EAD on May 4, 2022, or who timely file an EAD renewal application before Oct. 27, 2023, will be granted an automatic extension of up to 540 days if their EAD expires before the renewal application is processed.

Beginning Oct. 27, 2023, automatic extensions of employment authorization and EAD validity are set to revert to the up to 180-day period for such eligible I-765 renewal applications.

USCIS has further clarified that the automatic extension generally will end upon notification of a final decision on the renewal application or the end of the up to 540-day period (meaning, up to 540 days after the expiration date on the applicant’s facially expired EAD), whichever comes earlier.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to and cannot substitute the advice of and representation from a competent immigration attorney.