Due to significant backlogs at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which have caused gaps in employment authorization for otherwise qualified foreign nationals, USCIS previously implemented a 180-day automatic extension of certain Employment Authorization Cards, known as EADs, for individuals in specific nonimmigrant visa categories listed here. Because USCIS delays in case processing have grown, USCIS announced that as of May 4, 2022, the automatic extension period will be increased from 180 days to 540 days. The Temporary Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on May 4, 2022.
To be eligible for the 540-day automatic extension:
- The individual must have been issued an EAD card in one of the categories set out by USCIS.
- The individual must have filed an application to renew employment authorization on Form I-765.
- The I-765 must have been filed prior to the expiration date of the expiring/expired EAD card.
- The I-765 must have been filed under the same category as the expiring/expired EAD card.
- The I-765 must remain pending and not have been denied; once the I-765 is denied, the extension period automatically ends.
The temporary final rule applies to:
- Individuals whose Forms I-765 are pending as of May 4, 2022 (including those whose 180-day extension period had expired prior to May 4, 2022); and
- Individuals who file Forms I-765 from May 4, 2022, through October 26, 2023.
On October 27, 2023, USCIS will revert to the 180-day automatic extension period.
For additional detail, please click here to view a document which contains detailed rules and illustrations.