Automatic Extensions Of EAD For EB-1, EB-2, And EB-3 Immigrant Workers And Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers
Author: Work Visa attorney Alena Shautsova
On January 17, 2017, a new regulation establishing validity of work authorizations for beneficiaries of certain work visa and employment based petitions became effective. All relevant EAD applications that were pending on January 17, 2017 and those filed on or after January 17, 2017 now will be subject to new rules (where applicable). The new amendments provide for automatic extensions of the validity periods of certain Employment Authorization Documents (Form I-766) for up to 180 days for individuals who: • Timely filed to renew an Employment Authorization Document (EAD); • Are applying to renew an EAD in the same category as the previous EAD (A12 and C19 are considered the same category for this extension); and • Are in a category that is eligible for the extension. The eligibility category codes for a 180-day automatic extension are A03, A05, A07, A08, A10, C08 (asylum pending), C09 (adjustment of status), C10, C16, C20, C22, C24, C31, and A12 or C19. It means that now, the old EAD would be valid for 180 days for the individuals who hold it in the above listed categories and applied for an extension based on the same category. The old EAD plus the receipt for filing is sufficient to establish employment eligibility.
To make it clear, those with pending asylum cases now will be able to continue work legally for at least 180 days from filing, if their new I 765 was filed before the expiration of the old EAD. 180 days usually is sufficient time to receive a new employment authorization.
There are some categories that are not eligible for this automatic extension. For example, those H4 holders who qualify for an EAD based on their spouses’ AC21 extension and underlying employment petitions, would not be able to benefit form this rule.