On September 27, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued an update to the USCIS Policy Manual to increase the maximum validity period to five years for initial and renewal Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for certain noncitizens who are employment-authorized incident to status or circumstance, including those admitted as refugees, paroled as refugees, and granted asylum, as well as recipients of withholding of removal.
- USCIS is increasing the validity period to five years for initial and renewal EADs for certain noncitizens who are employment-authorized incident to status or circumstance, including those with pending adjustment of status applications.
- The agency further confirms the list of nonimmigrants who may present a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record to an employer as an acceptable List C document for Form I-9 employment verification.
The agency is increasing the maximum available validity period from two years to five years for initial and renewal EADs for noncitizens with pending applications for asylum or withholding of removal and noncitizens with pending applications for adjustment of status under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 245, and from one year to five years for EADs issued to noncitizens seeking suspensions of deportation or cancellations of removal.
The agency’s updated guidance applies to the following categories:
8 C.F.R. § 274a.12
|Pending application for asylum or withholding of deportation or removal
|Pending application for adjustment of status under INA 245
|Pending application for suspension of deportation, cancellation of removal, or relief under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA)
|Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) long-term residents
Whether nonimmigrants maintain employment authorization remains dependent on their underlying status, circumstances, and EAD filing category.
The agency’s guidance also confirms the list of nonimmigrants who may present a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, to an employer as an acceptable List C document for Form I-9 employment verification. To be used for employment verification purposes, the Form I-94 must be accompanied by a document that establishes identity.
Finally, the updated policy clarifies that certain Afghan and Ukrainian parolees “are employment authorized incident to parole.”
USCIS’s intention in increasing the maximum EAD validity period to five years is to significantly reduce the number of new Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, received. This is the result of an ongoing effort by the agency to reduce processing times and backlogs.