U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a Temporary Final Rule (TFR) that increases the automatic extension period for employment authorization and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to up to 540 days. The increase seeks to avoid gaps in employment, providing relief for applicants with pending EAD renewal applications, given the lengthy processing times at USCIS. The increase will become effective May 4, 2022, and will apply to those EAD categories currently subject to the automatic extension provisions.

Per the USCIS TFR, those foreign nationals whose EAD renewal applications are pending and whose 180-day automatic extension period had already lapsed and EAD expired, will be provided an additional period of authorized employment and EAD validity, starting May 4, 2022, through up to 540 days from the date of the EAD expiration. Therefore, any foreign nationals still within the 540-day period from the expiration of their EAD, assuming they are otherwise eligible, can return to authorized employments. Those within their current 180-day period can continue authorized employment until up to 540 days from their EAD expiration date. Those filing timely EAD renewals prior to Oct. 27, 2023, will receive an automatic extension of 540 days from their EAD expiration date.

Beginning Oct. 27, 2023, automatic extensions of employment authorization and EAD validity will revert to the up to 180-day period for those eligible applicants who timely file Form I-765 renewal applications.