By Chris Musillo

Beginning May 4, 2022, the USCIS’s automatic extension period for certain EAD categories will temporarily increase from 180 days to up to 540 days.

This is a welcomed change in policy as many EAD extension petitions currently take more than 180 days to be adjudicated. Under the previous policy, an EAD holder was forced to stop working if the extension petition was not approved within the 180 days automatic extension period. Increasing the automatic extension period to up to 540 days will provide relief to many EAD holders and help prevent gaps in employment.

The automatic extension only applies to certain categories of EAD holders who timely file an extension petition before the expiration of their previous EAD. This includes H4 EAD holders with a valid I-94 and green card applicants. A full list of qualifying categories can be found on USCIS’s website.

Unfortunately, OPT-based EADs and applicants changing the category their EAD is authorized under are not eligible for the automatic extension.

The increased automatic extension period will end on October 26, 2023.