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USCIS Announces Automatic Extensions for Select Employment Authorization Candidates

For family immigrants in the United States, gaining the right to work is a significant step toward building a new life. The Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is a crucial document that allows individuals to legally work in the US. Understanding the employment authorization process and how to apply for an EAD is essential for navigating the complexities of immigration.

That’s why the USCIS’ recent announcement regarding automatic extensions for certain renewal applicants is so important. The agency has stated that it will grant the extension to qualified candidates to permit them to continue working in the US while it processes backlogs. 

Here’s what you need to know about the new automatic extension, how the application and renewal process works, and how the experienced immigration attorneys at Litwin & Smith can assist you in securing your EAD.

Understanding the USCIS Employment Authorization Process

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees the employment authorization process, permitting eligible visa holders the legal right to work during their stay. The EAD is a key component of this process, allowing individuals to seek employment opportunities in the US.

It’s important to note that some individuals may qualify for automatic renewal of their EAD. This applies to certain categories, including individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and those applying for adjustment of status. Understanding the specific conditions under which your EAD may be automatically renewed can simplify the process and provide peace of mind.

About USCIS’ Automatic 180-Day Extension

If you have an EAD, you may need to apply for a renewal if it expires before you receive a visa or green card that permits you to work in the US. However, USCIS policy states that eligible applicants who file an I-765 form automatically receive a 180-day extension of their EAD while their petition is considered. This applies to all candidates submitting I-765 forms on or after October 27, 2023. Eligible people include:

  • Refugees
  • Asylum recipients
  • People who have been granted Temporary Protected Status or Withholding of Deportation
  • Spouses of H-1B and E visa beneficiaries

It’s important to note that this is a change from a previous temporary final rule (TFR) that extended the automatic renewal period from 180 days to 540 days. People who received a 540-day extension still receive this benefit; the reversion to 180 days is not retroactive. 

Applying for Renewal of Your EAD in the US

If you have an EAD, you may need to renew it to keep working in the US – the renewal and 180-day extension are not automatic. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Determine Your Eligibility: Before applying for renewal for an EAD, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. Eligibility may vary based on your immigration status, so carefully review the requirements to confirm your qualifications.
  • Complete Form I-765: The application for renewal of an EAD is done through Form I-765, which is available on the USCIS website. Fill out the form accurately, providing all necessary information. This includes details about your immigration status, eligibility category, and personal information.
  • Gather Supporting Documents: Supporting documents vary depending on your eligibility category. Common documents include a copy of your current visa, a government-issued ID, and any other documents specified in the form instructions. Ensure you have all required documentation to avoid delays in processing.
  • Submit Your Application: Once your application is complete and you have gathered all necessary documents, submit your application to the USCIS. Pay the required filing fee unless you qualify for a fee waiver, and await further instructions.
  • Attend Biometrics Appointment: In some cases, the USCIS may require you to attend a biometrics appointment. This involves providing fingerprints and a photograph. Attend the appointment as scheduled to facilitate the processing of your EAD application.
  • Monitor Your Case Status: After submitting your application, regularly check the USCIS website to monitor the status of your case. This will keep you informed about any updates or additional steps required.

Get Help With Your EAD Renewal

Applying for an EAD is a significant step toward establishing your career in the United States as a family immigrant. Navigating the employment authorization process can be complex, but with the right guidance, it becomes more manageable. The dedicated immigration attorneys at Litwin & Smith have the expertise to assist you throughout the application process, ensuring that you meet all requirements and increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.

If you’re a family immigrant seeking to work in the US, understanding how to maintain your EAD is crucial. With the support of experienced immigration attorneys, such as those at Litwin & Smith, you can confidently navigate the application process, knowing that you have knowledgeable professionals by your side.

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