In the latest Weekly Wright Report:
- To Address the Back-Log of Immigration Work Permit Reviews, USCIS Has Temporarily Extended the EAD Period – Read Now
- WCS Immigration Team Scores U.S. Visa for Star Basketball Player – Read Now
To Address the Back-Log of Immigration Work Permit Reviews, USCIS Has Temporarily Extended the EAD Period
With the dawn of the current presidential administration in January 2021 came a very experienced, dedicated and enlightened group of senior leaders in the immigration space.
One of the most crucial issues facing foreign nationals and their employers were devastating delays at USCIS in obtaining initial and renewal work permits, causing significant work flow and financial disruptions to employers and often financial hardship to foreign nationals who had to be sent home from work because of delays of over a year in many cases in USCIS granting routine extensions of EAD work permits. Many workers never even got to work and had to return to their home county. Lawsuits by employers and foreign nationals burgeoned, resulting in pressure for USCIS to give priority to addressing the negative impact on many sectors of the economy in an era when an increasing chunk of the American work force cannot be lured back to work after the pandemic.
To address this situation, USCIS, effective May 4, 2022, temporarily increased the automatic period of extension of many EADs from 180 days to a total of 540 days to eligible EAD renewal applicants. Even though the “Card Expires” date specified on the EAD has passed, as well as, the 180-day auto extension from that date, such individuals will now have an additional extension of work authorization for up to 360 days from that EAD “Card Expires” for a total of up to 540 days. The extension time is counted from the expiration date of the EAD for which an extension is requested. USCIS indicates that the automatic renewal period will revert to the automatic 180-day automatic extension period on October 26, 2023, however, we are optimistic that the 540-day automatic extension will continue and be applied to additional applications as well. The important takeaways from this increase are:
- Applicants with I-765 EAD applications pending with USCIS prior to May 4, 2022 and the 180 day auto-extension has expired; and
- Applicants with I-765 EAD applications pending with USCIS prior to May 4, 2022 and the 180 day auto-extension has not expired; and
- Applicants who apply for I-765 EAD renewals between May 4, 2022 and October 26, 2023.
This is a welcome relief for foreign nationals and employers. It is estimated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 87,000 workers will benefit from the auto-extension. What it means is that employers who had to terminate employees because the 180 days auto-extension expired can now rehire them for a total of 540 days, during which period of time USCIS hopes to adjudicate the extension application. In essence, affected workers can now use their EADs for eighteen months after expiration.
EAD extension applications may be filed up to 180 days prior to expiration and USCIS encourages those applications to be timely filed. Applications filed after the expiration date of the EAD are not eligible for an automatic extension.
It is important to note that this new process does not apply to initial EADs and it only applies to the categories listed at https://www.uscis.gov/eadautoextend, which include asylees, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), E,-2 and L-2 spouses; pending I-485 green card applications, and H-4 spouses of principal applicants where principal has an approved I-140 immigrant petition. Human resources may use the documents set forth at https://www.uscis.gov/eadautoextend to complete the I-9 process.
Jan is one of the leading immigration attorneys in America, having been recognized for her outstanding client representation and advocacy with various awards. She has represented thousands of professionals and their employers in navigating the work permit waters. She is a frequent speaker on immigration topics and shares her knowledge through frequent Webinars, Podcasts, YouTube and FaceBook.
WCS Immigration Team Scores U.S. Visa for Star Basketball Player
Jan Pederson, WCS Immigration Law Group partner, performed a major miracle in obtaining a visa this week for a collegiate basketball star client. After multiple visa denials, Ms. Pederson intervened to resolve the visa issues. Due to her hard work and diligence, the basketball star was able to return to the United States to reignite his career. Kudos to Jan!
As a cautionary tale, Ms. Pederson would advise all athletes to check with an immigration attorney before going abroad if they are on a visa. She is available for consultations for all professional, amateur and colligate athletes. To set up a meeting with Jan, email Corey at email@example.com.