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On May 4, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will increase the automatic extension of work authorization from 180 to 540 days for certain applicants for an employment authorization document (EAD). The existing requirements of the rule will remain the same. To qualify for the now 540 day automatic extension of work authorization, the individual:
- Must hold an EAD issued under one of the qualifying categories – A03, A05, A07, A08, A10, A17*, A18*, C08, C09, C10, C16, C20, C22, C24, C26*, C31, and A12 or C19.
- Must have filed a Form I-765 application for work authorization to extend the EAD before the EAD expired.
- Must have filed the Form I-765 under the same qualifying category as reflected on the face of the expiring EAD. (In the case of employees with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), any combination of C19/A12 on the EAD and Form I-765 fee receipt applies.
*In the case of H-4, L-2, and E dependent status, they must also present an unexpired Form I-94 reflecting their H-4, L-2, or E status, as applicable.
Effective May 4, the automatic extension of work authorization will increase to 540 days from the date the EAD expired. Employers may rehire employees they terminated because the employee’s 180 day automatic extension of work authorization already expired, assuming they are still within the 540 day window. Employees currently taking advantage of the 180 day automatic extension are granted an additional 360 day extension, for a total of up to 540 days past the expiration of the current EAD. Employees who file their I-765 application before October 27, 2023, will qualify for the 540 day automatic extension – assuming they meet the regulatory requirements.
The 540 day automatic extension will end on notification of a final decision on the timely filed I-765 application for employment authorization or the end of the 540 day period, whichever is earlier.