On May 09 2022
Client Alert: USCIS Increases Automatic Extension Period for Certain Categories
Effective May 4, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced a Temporary Final Rule, increasing the automatic extension period for employment authorization or Employment authorization documents (EADs), for employment authorization renewal applicants in certain categories. The Temporary Final Rule (“TFR”) only applies to those with employment authorization in certain categories who were eligible for a 180 day automatic extension under the existing rule. The TFR will provide an automatic extension of an additional 360 days for a total of up to 540 days. This enhanced automatic extension is available to those seeking renewal in eligible categories, who timely filed their I-765 renewal applications, and who are seeking employment authorization based on the same category indicated on the I-797C, Notice of Actions for their expiring EADs. The eligible categories include:
- Beneficiaries of temporary protected status (TPS), as nationals of countries to which they cannot safely return—(a)(12) and (c)(19)
- Spouses of principal E nonimmigrants with unexpired I-94s showing E nonimmigrant status—(a)(17)
- Spouses of principal L-1 nonimmigrants with unexpired I-94s showing L-2 nonimmigrant status—(a)(18)
- Applicants for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residency—(c)(9)
- Spouses of certain H-1B principal nonimmigrants with unexpired I-94s showing H-4 nonimmigrant status—(c)(26)
The increased extension is available to those eligible renewal applicants with pending applications if the renewal application was filed:
- Before May 4, 2022, if the 180-day automatic extension has expired;
- Before May 4, 2022, if the 180-day automatic extension has not expired; or
- Between May 4, 2022, and Oct. 26, 2023.
Form I-765 renewal applications filed after Oct. 26, 2023, will receive the normal 180-day automatic extension.
For renewal applications filed on or after May 4, 2022, USCIS intends to send a Form I-797C Notice of Action receipt notice indicating an automatic extension of 540-days. This receipt notice along with the expired EAD or unexpired Form I-94, for H-4, E, or L-2 dependent spouses, will serve as proof of employment authorization during the automatic extension period.
For renewal applications filed before May 4, 2022, a new I-797C receipt notice will not be issued, but the Form I-797C receipt notices indicating a 180-day automatic extension can be used for I-9 purposes.
The automatic extension will end on the earlier of the expiration of the 540-day period (up to 540 days after the expiration date on the expired EAD) or notice of final decision on the renewal application.
USCIS has stated that this TFR is intended to allow USCIS to address staffing shortages and inefficiencies in order to meet Director Jaddou’s goal of reducing EAD processing times by the end of fiscal year 2023.
The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.
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