U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has ended its temporary 540-day automatic extension period for filing certain employment authorization documents (EAD).

USCIS has reverted to the original 180-day period for certain renewal applicants with timely filed extensions of EADs on or after October 27, 2023, including those who have sought or obtained temporary protected status or asylum.

Quick Hits

  • In May 2022, USCIS implemented a temporary final rule (TFR) that increased the automatic extension period from up to 180 days to up to 540 days for certain renewal applicants who had timely filed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. The May 2022 TFR was in effect until October 26, 2023.
  • Effective October 27, 2023, automatic extensions based on timely filed applications to renew employment authorization and/or employment authorization documents are subject to the original 180-day period for eligible applicants.
  • USCIS will not apply this change retroactively and will honor all prior automatic extensions of up to 540 days.

The 540- or 180-day extension will generally end either upon USCIS's issuing a final decision on an application or when the extension period, starting from the expiration date of work authorization and/or EAD, ends—whichever occurs first.

USCIS is evaluating whether there is a need for additional regulatory measures, similar to the May 2022 TFR, despite previous and ongoing operational improvements and initiatives to expedite EAD processing.

USCIS also announced that it recently updated its Policy Manual to reflect the increased maximum EAD validity period of five years for both initial and renewal applications approved on or after September 27, 2023, for the following categories:

  • "certain noncitizens who are employment authorized incident to status or circumstance, including those admitted as refugees, paroled as refugees, and granted asylum, as well as recipients of withholding of removal"; and
  • "certain noncitizens who must apply for employment authorization, including applicants for asylum and withholding of removal, adjustment of status ..., and suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal."

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.