Automatic Extension Period for EAD Renewal Increased to 540 Days

The USCIS has announced that they are putting forth a Temporary Final Rule, or TFR, that will increase the automatic extension period for employment authorization and employment authorization documents, or EADs, for certain EAD renewal applications for up to 540 days. 

This increase is effective immediately starting May 4, 2022. This TFR is being put into place to assist with preventing gaps in employment for those who are noncitizens with pending EAD renewal applications. 

The automatic extension period has been increased from 180 days to 540 days, which is significant. This will allow those who are waiting for their EAD renewal application to be processed to keep their employment status. 

EAD Automatic Extension Eligibility

There are only certain applicants who are eligible to qualify for automatic extensions of expiring EADs. Eligibility is granted if:

  • You have filed a proper Form I-765 for a renewal of your employment authorization and/or EAD before its expiration date
  • Your renewal category is listed here

*Please note that beginning on Oct. 27, 2023, automatic extensions of employment authorization and EAD validity will revert to the up to 180-day period for those eligible applicants. 

If you are a noncitizen with a pending EAD renewal application and your 180-day automatic extension has lapsed and your EAD has expired, you will be granted an additional period of employment authorization and EAD validity lasting up to 540 days from the expiration date of your EAD. You may resume employment if you are within this 540-day period and are eligible otherwise for employment. 

Any automatic extension will end upon notification of a final decision regarding your renewal application or at the end of the 540-day period, whichever comes first. 

What is an EAD?

All employers in the United States are required to check that all employees are authorized to work within the U.S. An EAD, or Employment Authorization Document, is a way to prove that you are authorized to work in the U.S. for a specific amount of time. Typically, those with a nonimmigrant visa, such as the H4 visa, will file Form I-765 for EADs in order to work legally in the United States. 

If you need assistance with the EAD application process, check out our in-depth guide here.