On May 3, 20022, USCIS issued a Temporary Final Rule increasing the automatic extension period for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and employment authorization to some EAD renewal applicants for a period of up to 540 days in an effort to prevent gaps in employment authorization and documentation.

As USCIS works to address pending EAD caseloads, the agency has determined that the current 180-day automatic extension for employment authorization is currently insufficient,” said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou. “This temporary rule will provide those noncitizens otherwise eligible for the automatic extension an opportunity to maintain employment and provide critical support for their families, while avoiding further disruption for U.S. employers.

This temporary rule is just that – temporary. As of October 27th, 2023, the automatic extension of the employment authorization and EAD validity will go back to the 180-day period for eligible applicants who file Form I-765 renewal applications. This extension is for applicants who filed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. These individuals can qualify for the automatic extension of their employment authorization or an EAD for up to 180 days if the following criteria are met:

  • Have correctly filed Form I-765 for a renewal of their employment authorization or EAD prior to their current EAD expiring
  • Are eligible for a renewal meaning that your fall under a category that allows the automatic 180-day extension and the category of your current employment authorization document matches the “Class Requested” listed on your FormI-797C Notice of Action.

For those that are under temporary protected status or have a pending application, your EAD and this Notice must contain either the A12 or C19 category, but the categories do not need to match each other.  In addition, for H-4, E, and L-2 dependent spouses, an unexpired Form I-94 indicating H-4, E, or L-2 nonimmigrant status must accompany Form I-797C). TPS individuals may receive an automatic extension of their employment authorization.

The following employment eligible categories are eligible for an automatic extension of up to 180 days:

eligible categories automatic extension


How the Automatic Extension Period Works

The temporary final rule applies to the EAD categories above for the automatic extension of 180-days, temporarily grants an additional 360 days of automatic extension time for a total of 540 days for applicants who have property filed Form I-765 renewal during the 18-months following this published temporary final rule. This designated timeframe is intended to give USCIS enough time to address staffing deficiencies and backlogs. Director Jaddou announced that she has a goal of a 3-month cycle time for EAD applications by the end of Fiscal Year 2023.

Noncitizens who have a pending EAD renewal application and have already used their 180-day automatic extension and have an expired EAD will have an additional period of employment authorization and EAD validity, beginning on May 4, 2022 and lasting up to 540 days from the expiration date of their EAD.

Noncitizens with a pending renewal application still covered under the 180-day automatic extension will be granted an additional up to 360-day extension, for a total of up to 540 days past the expiration of the current EAD.

Noncitizens with a pending renewal application and valid EAD on May 4, 2022, or who timely file an EAD renewal application before Oct. 27, 2023, will be granted an automatic extension of up to 540 days if their EAD expires before the renewal application is processed.