THE U.S. GOVERNMENT EXTENDS GRACE PERIOD FOR EXPIRED WORK VISAS
Updated: Aug 22, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced an increase in the automatic extension period of up to 540 days for the authorization of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), available to certain EAD renewal applicants. The extension, coming into effect May 4, 2022, will help noncitizens keep jobs that depend on the EAD expiration period.
According to USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou, “As the USCIS works to address pending EAD cases, the agency has determined that the current 180-day automatic extension for employment authorization is insufficient. This temporary rule will provide those noncitizens otherwise eligible for the automatic extension an opportunity to maintain employment and provide critical support for their families, while avoiding further disruption for U.S. employers.”
For several years, the USCIS has been in a precarious financial situation that impaired the efficient completion of cases. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these challenges in 2020, in addition to a hiring freeze and furlough threat leading to workforce attrition and significantly reduced capacity. In 2021, before the USCIS could recover from this fiscal and operational impact, there was a sudden and dramatic increase in EAD new filings and renewal requests.
These rules, which apply only to EAD categories and are currently eligible for an automatic extension of up to 180 days, will temporarily provide up to 360 days of additional automatic extension (up to 540 days total).
This new extension period will allow the USCIS the opportunity to solve the personnel shortage and efficiency improvement issues. USCIS Director M. Jaddou expressed the urge for the EAD processing period to go back to up to 90 days in the short term.
For more information, please contact the XPLORE IMMIGRATION team.