+1(212)459-3800 [email protected]

In a significant policy update, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has expanded the maximum validity period for specific Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) from 2 to 5 years. This development is a response to stakeholder feedback and aims to streamline administrative processes while providing greater stability for noncitizens in the United States.

The extended validity now applies to several crucial categories, including refugees, individuals granted asylum, and those with pending applications for asylum, withholding of removal, or adjustment of status under INA 245. Furthermore, individuals pursuing suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal will also benefit from the enhanced EAD duration. This extension ensures that these vulnerable populations have extended periods of authorized employment, reducing the frequency of EAD renewals and offering greater stability and security in their work status.

Additionally, USCIS has clarified the use of the Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) as a dual-purpose document, serving as evidence for both immigration status and employment authorization for specific noncitizens. This clarification simplifies the verification process for employers and noncitizens alike, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in employment-related procedures.

The revised policy, effective immediately, signifies a proactive step by USCIS to alleviate the administrative burden on both applicants and the agency itself. By extending the validity periods, USCIS aims to reduce the number of Applications for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) it receives, contributing to more manageable processing times and diminishing backlogs.

It is important to note that these changes, detailed comprehensively in the Policy Manual, supersede any prior guidelines related to EAD validity. The updated policy is applicable to all Applications for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) filed on or after September 27, 2023. While the core updates have been highlighted, minor technical adjustments consistent with this update may be implemented to ensure the policy’s smooth implementation.

In summary, this USCIS policy revision stands as a positive stride toward a more streamlined, efficient, and stable employment authorization process for noncitizens, reaffirming USCIS’s commitment to providing essential services while enhancing the integrity of immigration-related procedures.