Last Updated on February 23, 2023
On May 4, 2022, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase the automatic extension period for eligible Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) from 180 days to 540 days. Only EADs that are already eligible for the existing 180-day extension may receive an additional 360-day extension for a total of up to 540 days.
Status categories eligible for the automatically extended EADs include pending adjustment of status applicants, those holding refugee status and those beneficiaries in Temporary Protected Status (TPS), in addition to spouses of eligible E or L-1 applicants holding eligible EADs.
USCIS introduced the Temporary Final Rule (TFR) to temporarily increase the automatic extension period for certain EADs from 180 days to 540 days. USCIS indicates the rule was implemented to help avoid gaps in employment and provide more predictability for U.S. employers.
Information on general circumstances can be found here:
- Applicants who properly file a Form I-765 renewal application during the 18-month period after the TFR is published may temporarily receive an automatic EAD extension time of 360 extra days. On Oct. 27, 2023, automatic extensions of EAD validity and employment authorization will return to a 180-day period for eligible applicants who filed their Form I-765 renewal applications while the TFR was in effect.
- Foreign nationals whose renewal application is pending at the time of the TFR’s implementation will be granted the 360-day extension in addition to the existing 180-day extension for a total extension period of up to 540 days past the expiration date of their current EAD.
- Individuals who have a pending renewal application and valid EAD on May 4, 2022, or who file a timely EAD renewal application before Oct. 27, 2023, will receive an automatic extension up to 540 days if their EAD expires before the renewal application is processed.
- Individuals whose EAD renewal application is pending, but whose 180-day extension has lapsed and whose EAD has expired, will receive an extension of their EAD validity up to 540 days from the expiration date on the EAD. This will occur so that they may resume employment within the 540-day extension period, provided they are otherwise eligible for an extension.
The automatic extension of up to 540 days is expected to end either when USCIS has made a final decision on the individual’s renewal application or when the 540-day period granted to the individual expires, whichever comes sooner.
Applicants who are eligible for the 540-day extension can provide copies of their facially expired EAD card, along with a receipt notice showing that they applied for an extension of the EAD before the expiration date of the facially expired card. The expired card and the receipt notice must show the same eligibility category, which must be of the categories of EAD eligible for the 540-day extension.
Please note, certain status categories may not automatically receive the entire 540-day extension if the individual's Form I-94 has an upcoming expiration date. Individuals may check the corresponding USCIS website titled “Information for Employers and Employees” for details on eligibility and related guidance.
Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ian Love, who is a Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), one of the two U.S. law firms Envoy exclusively works with on the Envoy Platform (the "U.S. Law Firms").
Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Envoy is not a law firm, and does not provide legal advice. If you would like guidance on how this information may impact your particular situation and you are a client of one of the U.S. Law Firms, consult your attorney. If you are not a client of a U.S. Law Firm working with Envoy, consult another qualified professional. This website does not create an attorney-client relationship with either U.S. Law Firm.