USCIS announced today that effective May 4, 2022, it is temporarily amending existing regulations to increase the automatic extension period when renewing Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) from up to 180 days to up to 540 days. This only applies to those EAD categories currently eligible EAD categories currently eligible for the previous up to 180-day automatic extension of employment authorization. 

With this temporary rule, USCIS will provide up to 360 additional days (for a total of up to 540 days) of automatic extension time to eligible applicants with a pending EAD renewal application. This increase will be available to eligible renewal applicants with pending Forms I-765 as of May 4, 2022, including those applicants whose employment authorization may have lapsed following the initial 180-day extension period, and any eligible applicant who files a renewal Form I-765 during the 540-day period beginning on or after May 4, 2022, and ending October 26, 2023. Applicants with pending I-765 renewal applications will not receive a new receipt notice reflecting the increased EAD automatic extension period, but will still receive the up to 540-day extension under this rule if they show Form I-797C notices that refer to a 180-day extension, along with their qualifying expired EADs. 

The temporary rule does not change the requirement that, to receive an extension of H-4 EAD work authorization, the EAD applicant must have an unexpired H-4 I-94 (H-4 status) beyond their current EAD’s expiration date.  If they do, then their work authorization will be extended for the shorter of (a) 540 days (b) USCIS processing of their EAD renewal or (c) their H-4 I-94.