EADs for Adjustment of Status (green card) filings
USCIS has recently began decoupling adjudication of EADs and Advance Paroles to expedite EAD issuance. In the past, USCIS had previously been issuing “combination cards” that included both employment and travel authorization in one document. The reason is that USCIS is working through its EAD backlog, and is prioritizing EAD adjudications so that lapses in employment authorization can be avoided.
Certain applicants for adjustment of immigration status have a reason to be happy: the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has doubled the period for which an employment authorization document (EAD) is valid. As of June 9, 2021, the EADs issued to applicants seeking an adjustment of status will last two years instead of one.
The validity period in other EAD categories has changed
USCIS has revised its guidelines to to state that initial and renewal EAD generally may be issued with a maximum validity period of up to 2 years for asylees and refugees, non-citizens with withholding of deportation or removal, and VAWA self-petitioners; or up to the end the authorized (non-DACA) deferred action or parole period to applicants in these filing categories. This new policy will apply to EAD issued on or after February 7, 2022.
What does this mean for immigrants?
The announcement came as positive news for noncitizens seeking employment authorization, or to maintain employment authorization during the this period of lengthy processing times.