USCIS Announces Automatic Extensions for EAD Renewal Applicants in Certain Categories
On February 1, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that on January 17, 2017, it automatically extended certain expiring Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for up to 180 days for certain renewal applicants [link]. In order to be a beneficiary of the automatic extension, the individual must have been seeking to renew an EAD in one of the following EAD categories:
|The eligibility category you listed on your Form I-765 renewal application||Description|
|(a)(7)||N-8 or N-9|
|(a)(8)||Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau|
|(a)(10)||Withholding of Deportation or Removal Granted|
|(a)(12)||Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Granted|
|(c)(8)||Asylum Application Pending|
|(c)(9)||Pending Adjustment of Status under Section 245 of the Act|
|(c)(10)||Suspension of Deportation Applicants (filed before April 1, 1997)
Cancellation of Removal Applicants
Special Rule Cancellation of Removal Applicants Under NACARA
|(c)(16)||Creation of Record (Adjustment Based on Continuous Residence Since January 1, 1972)|
|(c)(19)||Pending initial application for TPS where USCIS determines applicant is prima facie eligible for TPS and can receive an EAD as a “temporary treatment benefit”.|
|(c)(20)||Section 210 Legalization (pending I-700)|
|(c)(22)||Section 245A Legalization (pending I-687)|
Provided that the individual was seeking renewal in one of the above categories:
- He or she must have properly filed for a renewal EAD before his or her current EAD expired; and
- The category on the current EAD must match the “Class Requested” on the current Notice of Action.
The USCIS explains that for applicants for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) [see category], both the EAD and the Notice of Action must contain either the (a)(12) or (c)(19) categories, but the categories do not need to match.
The USCIS stated that the reason for the automatic extensions was “to help prevent gaps in employment authorization and documentation.” The extension applies to Form I-765 renewal applications that were still pending on January 17, 2017, and to Form I-765 applications that were filed on or after January 17, 2017.
USCIS Announces that it Will Reissue Receipt Notices
On February 24, 2017, the USCIS announced that starting on February 16, 2017, it began reissuing Form I-797, Receipt Notices, to individuals who had applied to renew their EADs between July 21, 2016, and January 16, 2017, and whose applications remain pending in all of the categories listed in the previous section, except for (a)(12) and (c)(19) [link]. The USCIS is sending the new receipt notices because the receipt notices that the USCIS had sent out did not contain the applicant's EAD eligibility category. The new receipt notices will contain the following information:
- The applicant's EAD eligibility category;
- The receipt date (the date on which the USCIS received the renewal application);
- The notice date (the date on which the USCIS reissued the receipt notice); and
- New information about the 180-day EAD extension.
The new receipt notices will help applicants demonstrate to their employers that they are employment authorized. The USCIS explains that applicants may present the reissued receipt notice with their expired EAD to their employer as a List A document for the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Applicants with a TPS-related EAD who filed their renewal applications before January 17, 2017, will not receive a reissued receipt notice. This is because these applicants already received 6-month extensions through the Federal Register notice that extended their country's TPS designation.
The USCIS decided to offer short automatic extensions to expired EADs in certain categories to prevent gaps from forming while renewal applications are pending. The USCIS's reissuance of receipt notices to most of these applicants will provide them with evidence of continued employment authorization. Applicants with questions about their specific cases should consult with an experienced immigration attorney.