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USCIS Extends Work Permit Renewals to Avoid Lapses in Employment for Immigrants

By Casey April 18, 2024 (Updated April 18, 2024) 1 min. read
immigrant worker

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a temporary rule that automatically extends the validity period of work permits for immigrant workers with pending renewals. This extends the validity period from 180 days to 540 days (about 1.5 years) to prevent lapses in employment due to processing backlogs.

USCIS Backlogs and Processing Delays

USCIS has made progress in reducing work permit processing times, but disparities exist. Initial work permit requests are processed faster than renewals. The number of overall work permit requests has been rising, and USCIS resources are stretched thin due to other factors.

As a result, processing times for EAD renewals have increased significantly.

New Rule on Automatic Extensions for EAD Renewals

The new rule applies to all renewal EAD requests filed between October 27, 2023, and September 30, 2025. This provides flexibility as USCIS anticipates a near 1 million increase in work permit applications by FY 2024.

USCIS Seeks Solutions for Long-Term Improvements

This rule is part of several efforts by USCIS to get work permits to workers faster. USCIS requested additional funding from Congress to address backlogs but received less than requested. The agency is seeking public comments on the new rule, including whether to make it permanent and explore other solutions. Comments are due by June 7, 2024.

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