The USCIS recently issued a new policy that applies to dependent spouses with an L-2 and E-1/E-2/E-3 status. This policy was issued on November 12, 2021 and will automatically extend the employment authorization of these spouses as well as certain H-4 spouses. The automatic extension is for 180 days and was enacted due to the long time it takes to process EAD extensions for these work-eligible spouses. These people may be eligible to have their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) automatically extended. The extension would start on the day that the current EAD expires and would typically continue for up to 180 days. Although, the extension will end if the application for renewal is denied by the USCIS. There are certain requirements for an EAD extension, such as:
If an employee shows a Form I-797C receipt notice which shows that an EAD renewal application in the same employment eligibility category as the EAD was filed in a timely manner, then the EAD, which seems to be expired, is automatically extended.
For categories A17, A18, and C26, documentation in addition to a Form I-797C showing a timely renewal application is required to demonstrate that the EAD has been extended. This means presenting a Form I-94 that indicates an eligible unexpired non-immigrant status.
If an employee in one of these categories is new, for section 2, employers need to:
If a current employee’s EAD has been automatically extended, employers need to enter Form I-797C’s receipt number, the document information from Form I-94, and update the expiration date on Form I-9. This information can be given in the Additional Information field. In order to update the expiration date, employers need to enter “EAD EXT” along with the 180-day auto-extended date from the earlier of the end date of the Form I-94 or the “Card Expires” date on the EAD. Employers may write EAD EXT mm/dd/yyyy. When the automatic extension period ends, the employer must reverify the employee’s employment verification.
You must reverify your employees at the end of their automatic extension. This needs to be done at the latest on the date that the work authorization expires. They can be reverified before this date if they present a document that shows their authorization for continued employment.