The article discusses the newly released policy regarding automatic extension of EAD to 540 days. On May 4, 2022, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) effectuated a temporarily increase of the automatic extension of employment authorization (EAD) from 180 days to 540 days. The new extension is valid for applicants within eligible categories who have a pending application for employment authorization, requesting a renewal of their right to work in the US. The applicants’ renewal application receipt date must be earlier than Oct. 26, 2023. The temporary increase of automatic extension was necessitated by continued delays of processing renewal applications for EAD.
In practice this means that individuals whose automatic extension of EAD expired prior to May 4, 2022, will receive an automatic resumption of their work permit for an additional period starting from May 4, 2022. The additional period will last up to 540 days from the expiration of their EAD.
The individuals whose work permit has expired but are covered by the previous 180 days extension, will now have an additional extension of up to 360 days, for a total of up to 540 days past the expiration of their work permit.
For individuals whose EAD has not expired but have a pending renewal application, will receive an automatic extension of EAD of up to 540 days if their renewal application is not processed before the expiration of their work permit.
The criteria for receiving the increased automatic extension of 540 days has not changed from the first extension of 180 days announced by the government. To qualify for automatic extension of their work permit individuals must:
- Have filed an application to renew their EAD (work permit) before its expiration, and the renewal application remains pending.
- Have been issued a Form I-797C, Notice of Action, with an eligibility category that is the same as the eligibility category stated on the front of the EAD (employment authorization card).
- There is an exception for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) , categories A12 or C19 where the categories on the Form I-797C, Notice of Action and the employment authorization card (EAD) do not have to match:
- For H-4 (C26), E (A17) and L-2 (A18) dependent spouses, the Notice of Action must be accompanied by a proof of valid H-4, E, or L-2 nonimmigrant status (Form I-94).
- The eligible categories for automatic extension as indicated on the EAD card are A03, A05, A07, A08, A10, A17, A18, C08, C09, C10, C16, C20, C22, C24, C26, C31, and A12 or C19.
To show that they have the right to work based on the automatic extension of EAD for up to 540 days, employees who meet the criteria above should present their employers with the Form I-797C, Notice of Action referring to an automatic extension of up to 180 days (the initial government policy regarding automatic extension of EAD).
Employees who present employers with a Form I-797C, Notice of Action, issued before May 4, 2022 and referring to an automatic EAD extension of up to 180 days are eligible for the extension of up to 540 days. The Notices of Action for extension eligible individuals, issued between May 4, 2022 and October 26, 2023 will state that there is an automatic work permit extension of up to 540 days.
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