U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Announcement of Automatic Employment Authorization Document Extension: Temporary Final Rule Overview
On May 3, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced an increase to the automatic extension period for certain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) from 180 days to 540 days. This Temporary Final Rule (TFR) was published on May 4, 2022, went into effect immediately and is valid through October 15, 2025. USCIS is soliciting comments on the TFR that must be submitted on or before July 5, 2022.
This article will discuss an overview of the Temporary Final Rule for the Automatic Employment Authorization Document extension, what an automatic extension is, what immigration benefits may be affected by this extension, and how employers should update their I-9 compliance practices in response to this change.
What Is An EAD?
An EAD is a work permit that gives foreign nationals the ability to work in the United States for a specific period of time. An EAD can be granted to those who are legally authorized to work in the United States but do not have a green card or work visa. The work authorization conferred by an EAD is usually valid for one year but can be renewed as long as the foreign national continues to meet the eligibility requirements.
USCIS To Mitigate Some Gaps in Employment Authorization
The Automatic Employment Authorization Document Extension Rule allows certain EADs to be automatically extended for up to 180 days upon filing for a renewal prior to the expiration of the current EAD. The Automatic Extension Rule applies to EADs that are set to expire on or after March 30, 2020, and have been previously extended by USCIS.
The TFR increases the automatic extension period from 180 days to 540 days. This change will provide work authorization relief to those who may have difficulty renewing their EADs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. USCIS has stated that the purpose of this rule is “to minimize disruptions in employment authorization and work status during the current national emergency.”
USCIS will continue to adjudicate applications and petitions as usual. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be delays in processing times. USCIS is encouraging those who may be affected by this to file their applications and petitions as early as possible.
Revalidating Work Authorization on Form I-9
Employers should update their I-9 compliance practices in response to this change. All employers must complete Form I-9 for each employee hired after November 1986. The I-9 form requires the employer to verify the identity and work eligibility of the employee. Employers should use this opportunity to review their I-9 compliance practices and make sure that they are up to date with the latest changes in work authorization requirements.
The USCIS announcement can be found here: [USCIS Announcement of Automatic Employment Authorization Document Extension: Temporary Final Rule Overview].
Comments on the TFR can be submitted on or before July 05, 2022, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal here. Comments may also be submitted by mail or hand delivery to: Director, Regulatory Management Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-2100.
If you have any questions about this announcement or how it may affect your work status or immigration benefits, please contact our office. Our experienced immigration attorneys can help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of U.S. immigration law and ensure that you are in compliance with all work authorization requirements.
Please note that this is only a summary of the USCIS announcement and is not intended to be legal advice. For more information, please contact our office to speak with an attorney. Direct U.S. Immigration is dedicated to helping individuals, families, and employers navigate the complex world of U.S. immigration law. Schedule your consultation to discuss your specific case.