USCIS Announces Employment Authorization Extension Increase

The Temporary Final Rule (TFR), extending employment authorization and Employment Authorization Document (EAD) timelines, went into effect on May 4, 2022

The TFR is only applicable to EAD categories already eligible for an automatic 180-day extension and temporarily offers up to 360 days of additional work authorization. This affords eligible applicants who filed a timely Form I-765 renewal application with a pending status during the 18-month period after publication of the TFR a total of 540 days. This extended timeframe allows USCIS to continue processing a backlog of cases that resulted from the conditions generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. With this extra time, USCIS will strive to address staffing shortages, implement additional efficiencies and meet an agency goal to achieve a three-month cycle time for EAD applications by the end of fiscal year 2023. Starting Oct. 27, 2023, automatic extensions for employment authorization and EAD validity will revert back to the up to 180-day period.

As of May 4, 2022, the following extensions will be enacted dependent on the status of a noncitizen's EAD renewal application, as described below:

180-day automatic extension period has lapsed, resulting in an expired EAD

  • Extension Terms: Additional period of employment authorization and EAD validity of up to 540 days from the expiration date of the EAD

Still within the 180-day automatic extension period (unexpired yet pending)

  • Extension Terms: Up to a 360-day increase, for a total of up to 540 days past the expiration of the current EAD

Valid EAD as of May 4, 2022 or EAD renewal application filed before October 27, 2023

  • Extension Terms: Up to 540 day extension if EAD expires before the renewal application is processed

All affected individuals may resume employment if within the applicable extension period and are otherwise eligible. Automatic extensions will generally end upon notification of a final decision on the renewal application or the end of the up to 540-day period, whichever occurs first.

In cases created for employees with an EAD that has been automatically extended for 180 days, you may receive a "Work Authorization Documents Expiring" case alert more than 90 days prior to the new expiration date of the employee's EAD. The early alert may occur because the case was created before DHS's publication of a TFR (87 FR 26614) which temporarily increases the employment authorization and/or EAD automatic extension period for certain noncitizens from up to 180 days to up to 540 days. The alert is a reminder; no action is required in E Verify and you may dismiss the alert.

Employers are encouraged to review the specific terms of the extension as issued by USCIS and subsequently conduct an internal assessment of documentation, workflows and associated protocols to ensure compliance with the TFR.

Posted: May 9, 2022