USCIS Enhances Validity Period for Certain Employment Authorization Documents
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced updates to its Policy Manual, extending the permissible validity period of initial and renewed Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for specific categories of non-citizens who are authorized to work due to their immigration status or unique circumstances.
This revision applies to individuals within the following categories:
- individuals admitted as refugees
- refugees paroled into the country
- those granted asylum
- recipients of withholding of removal
The revision also applies to certain cases requiring employment authorization applications, such as asylum seekers, applicants for withholding of removal, those pursuing adjustment of status under INA 245, and individuals seeking suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal.
The policy update also outlines the categories of non-citizens automatically granted employment authorization, commonly referred to as “employment authorized incident to status or circumstance.” Furthermore, it offers detailed information about those eligible to present a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, as an acceptable employment authorization document under List C of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Additionally, the guidance specifies that specific Afghan and Ukrainian parolees are considered employment authorized incident to their parole status.
Key Changes to the USCIS EAD Policies
USCIS is extending the maximum validity period to 5 years for both initial and renewed EADs for certain non-citizens who are authorized to work based on their status or circumstances. This applies to refugees, refugees paroled into the country, individuals granted asylum, and those with withholding of removal.
USCIS is increasing the maximum validity period from 2 years to 5 years for initial and renewed EADs for non-citizens with pending applications for asylum or withholding of removal, as well as those with pending applications for adjustment of status under INA 245. For EADs issued to non-citizens seeking suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal, the validity period is being extended from 1 year to 5 years.
The policy document elaborates on the categories of non-citizens who are considered employment authorized due to their status or unique circumstances. It also specifies the types of non-citizens eligible to present a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, as proof of employment authorization under List C of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
The policy update reaffirms that certain Afghan and Ukrainian parolees have employment authorization incident to their parole status.
This extension of the maximum EAD validity period to 5 years aims to significantly reduce the volume of new Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, submitted for EAD renewals in the coming years. This measure contributes to USCIS’s ongoing efforts to reduce processing times and address backlogs associated with these applications.
It’s important to note that the maintenance of employment authorization depends on the individual’s underlying immigration status, circumstances, and the specific category under which they filed for their EAD. For example, if someone obtained an EAD under the (c)(9) category based on a pending adjustment of status application with a 5-year validity period, and their adjustment application is subsequently denied, their auxiliary employment authorization may be terminated before the expiration date indicated on their EAD.
Contact Heckler Law Group, U.S. immigration law firm, to navigate these updates in the most thorough way possible.
Release Date: 09/27/2023