Immigration Law Update – EAD Extension FAQs
What is an EAD?
The EAD is an “employment authorization document” issued to foreign nationals to facilitate lawful employment in the U.S. Some persons are allowed to work lawfully “incident to status,” but others are required to first obtain the EAD work card before beginning employment.
Who is eligible to obtain an EAD and how does one apply?
A list of the immigration categories that support the issuance of an EAD, along with instructions for the I-765 EAD application form can be found at: https://www.uscis.gov/i-765 . It is important to read the application instructions carefully as each EAD category has its own specific requirements. The required filing fee amounts and application filing location may also vary depending on the supporting basis for the application. The website should also have the correct edition of the application form. The form editions expire over time and it is always important to check to confirm that the correct edition is being used, as old versions of the application form may not be accepted.
How are EAD cards extended?
As long as the underlying basis for eligibility continues, the foreign national can request EAD extensions by filing the I-765 EAD application form with USCIS.
When should an EAD extension be filed?
Case processing times can and do change radically within short periods of time. USCIS will accept an EAD extension application up to 6 months prior to the expiry of the current card.
Which categories of EAD are automatically extended for 180 days during the time an extension application is pending?
The regulation found at 8 CFR § 274a.13(d) provides for an automatic extension, not to exceed 180 days, for EAD categories that do not require the adjudication of an underlying petition or application before the EAD card can be issued. That means the extension does apply to EAD applicants with pending I-485 adjustment of status or asylum applications, but does not apply to applicants who derive the EAD through H-4, L-2, or F, J, or E-visa status. A full list of the categories can be found at: https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/automatic-employment-authorization-document-ead-extension
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