Otherwise qualified foreign nationals are experiencing gaps in employment authorization due to significant processing delays for Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, despite a 180-day automatic extension for individuals applying for an extension of their employment authorization in specific immigration categories (listed on the USCIS website).

Because Immigration case processing delays have continued to grow, they have now announced that the automatic extension period will be increased from 180 days to 540 days.

To be eligible for the 540-day automatic extension:

  1. The individual must have been issued an EAD card in one of the categories listed by USCIS(United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). Note that DACA- and F-1 OPT-based EAD cards are not included in the automatic extension.

  2. The individual must have filed an application to renew employment authorization on Form I-765 prior to the EAD card’s expiration date.

  3. The Form I-765 must have been filed requesting an extension of employment authorization based on the same category as the expiring/expired EAD card. (Unless it is TPS based; in this case, categories A12 or C19 are used interchangeably.)

  4. The Form I-765 must remain pending and not have been denied. (Once the Form I-765 is denied, the extension period automatically ends.)

The Automatic Extensions apply to:

  1. Individuals whose Forms I-765 (Work Permit Applications) are pending as of May 4, 2022 (including those whose 180-day extension period expired prior to May 4, 2022); and

  2. Individuals who file Forms I-765 from May 4, 2022, through October 26, 2023.