The Biden administration has announced that certain categories of immigrants, including those seeking green cards and spouses of H-1B visa holders, would be permitted to use their expired work permits for an additional 18 months, offering a reprieve to thousands of Indians working in this country and prevent further disruption for US employers.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the extension period of up to 180 days will be automatically extended to 540 days from the expiration date on the current Employment Authorization Cards (EADs).
Non-citizens who have a pending renewal application that is still covered by the 180-day automatic extension will be allowed an extra extension of up to 360 days, for a total of 540 days beyond the expiration of the existing EAD.
Furthermore, non citizens who have a pending renewal application and a valid EAD on May 4 2022, or who timely file an EAD renewal application by October 27 2023, will be granted an automatic extension of up to 540 days if their EAD expires before the renewal application is processed.
As USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) works to address the pending EAD caseloads, the agency has determined that the current 180-day automatic extension for employment authorisation is currently insufficient,” said USCIS director Ur M Jaddou.
This temporary rule will provide those non-citizens, otherwise eligible for the automatic extension, an opportunity to maintain employment and provide critical support for their families, while avoiding further disruption for US employers.
The policy is expected to provide relief to thousands of Indians working in the country while preventing further disruption for US employers.
1. The extension period of up to 180 days will automatically be extended to up to 540 days from the expiration date.
2. As the US Citizenship Immigration Services works to address the pending Employment Authorisation Cards (EAD) caseloads, the agency has determined that the current 180-day automatic extension of employment authorization is currently insufficient.
3. The non-citizens with pending EAD renewal applications whose 180-day automatic extension has lapsed and whose EAD has expired will be granted an additional period of employment and the EAD validity beginning May 4, 2022, and lasting up to 540 days from the expiration days of EAD.
Implications of 1.5 year extension for work permits:
The decision will help around 87,000 immigrants whose work authorization has lapsed or is set to in the next 30 days.
As per the US Government, as many as 4,20,000 immigrants renewing their work permits will be protected from losing their ability to work for the duration of the policy.
The change is also meant to address the unprecedented backlog of 1.5 million work permit applications at the nation’s legal immigration agency.
The policy is meant to address the unprecedented backlog of 1.5 million work permit applications at the nation’s legal immigration agency, leaving tens of thousands unable to work legally and exacerbating labour shortages.
This policy change allows employers to continue their workers and eligible immigrants to work on expired documents for up to 540 days, rather than 180. That means even the tens of thousands of people past their 180-day window have as much as another year of work authorization.
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