USCIS EAD Automatic Extension Rule Passes Office of Management and Budget

The Office of Management and Budget(OMB) has approved a final regulation from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which would increase the period of automatic employment authorization extensions for certain renewal applicants. This places the new rule closer to publication and taking effect. Coming up, the rule will now be published in the Federal Register, where it will go into effect by the timeline provided in the regulation.

The details of the final regulation known as the “Temporary Increase of the Automatic Extension Period of Employment Authorization and Documentation for Certain Renewal Applicants” have not yet been revealed. Until it is published in the Federal Register, the exact details will remain unknown; however, according to the information that has been announced, it will potentially increase the 180-day automatic extension period for work employment authorization documents (EAD) for certain foreign national workers that have filed a timely Form I-765 to renew certain categories of EADs.

Those eligible for a 180-day automatic extension period include but are not limited to applicants that file renewal applications for adjustment of status as well as those in asylum or refugee categories.

The regulation has been announced in conjunction with multiple other steps taken to reduce the historic levels of backlog the USCIS is currently facing. According to the USCIS, Form I-765 is the most frequently filed application the agency receives. As a result, the EAD auto-extension rule could significantly reduce the agency’s critical backlog.

The agency has already taken recent steps in order to reduce backlogs that threaten the ability of workers to continue employment. Learn More

This has included streamlining the application process for completion of Form I-765 as well as increasing the validity period for certain applicants. In response to shortages of certain critical workers in health care and child care industries, the agency has previously also expedited renewals.

According to the agency, this new temporary final rule will build on this existing progress and protect more workers from the potential of losing their work authorization status during the processing of their applications. As of now, no changes have taken effect; however, once the rule takes effect, certain EAD holders that file timely renewals may receive auto-extensions that could prevent gaps in work authorization. Prior to the publication of the rule, an advance copy will likely be released, which should provide greater details of the changes that will be set out in the Federal Register.

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