By Chris Musillo

The USCIS has released updated policy guidance stating that it will grant EADs valid for 2 years to certain green card applicants including those applying based on an approved Form I-130 (family-based green card) or Form I-140 (employment-based green card).

Both initial and renewal EAD applications will be eligible for the 2-year validity period. However, replacement EADs will not be issued for 2-year validity period but will rather be issued with the same validity dates as the original EAD that is being replaced.

The USCIS has historically issued EADs that are valid for a 1-year period to green card applicants. While there is generally no fee for a filing an EAD application for green card applicants, almost 370,000 green card related EAD applications were filed with the USCIS in fiscal year 2020. It is hoped that by issuing EADs valid for 2 years instead of 1 year, the USCIS will be able to redistribute limited resources to alleviate current processing backlogs.