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United States extends period for work authorisation documents for non-citizens

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has introduced a temporary final rule (TFR) extending the automatic extension period for certain Employment Authorisation Documents (EADs) from 180 days to a maximum of 540 days in a move to further streamline access to work permits for eligible noncitizens.

This initiative builds upon recent improvements aimed at significantly reducing processing times for EADs.

The extension

The temporary measure aims to prevent disruptions in employment authorisation for noncitizens already authorised to work while awaiting USCIS to adjudicate their pending EAD renewal applications.

  • USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou highlighted the importance of this step, stating that the extension up to 540 days will avoid lapses in employment authorisations, providing a buffer for the agency to explore long-term solutions and gather public feedback.
  • The TFR complements USCIS’s ongoing efforts to support access to employment for authorised individuals.

Steps taken by the USCIS

Notable achievements include halving EAD processing times for green card applicants since FY2021, processing a record number of EAD applications, and engaging with communities to enhance accessibility and support for applicants.

  • This temporary measure applies to eligible applicants who have timely filed an EAD renewal application on or after October 27, 2023, and whose application is still pending on the date of publication in the Federal Register.
  • Additionally, it covers those who timely file their Form I-765 application within a 540-day period starting from the rule’s publication.

What you should know

Without this intervention, nearly 800,000 EAD renewal applicants, including asylees, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries, and green card applicants, could face interruptions in their employment authorisation, affecting approximately 60,000 to 80,000 employers.

  • As part of the TFR, USCIS invites public feedback to inform potential future regulatory actions.
  • Interested parties can find more information on USCIS’s Automatic Employment Authorisation Document Extension page.

 

 

 


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