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USCIS Increases Automatic Extension of Certain Employment Authorization Documents to 540 Days
Friday, April 19, 2024

On April 8, 2024, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a temporary final rule (TFR) that increases the automatic extension period for eligible employment authorization document (EAD) applications from 180 days to 540 days beyond the current EAD expiration date. The TFR’s 540-day automatic extension applies to pending EAD extension applications filed on or after Oct. 27, 2023, and to EAD extension applications filed between April 8, 2024, and Sept. 30, 2025. The TFR will remain effective until Sept. 20, 2027, thereby ensuring a full 540-day auto-extension period for EAD applications filed through Sept. 30, 2025.

This TFR aligns with ongoing USCIS efforts to support employment authorized individuals’ access to work while the agency processes a record high number of pending EAD applications. According to USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou, “Temporarily lengthening the existing automatic extension up to 540 days will avoid lapses in employment authorizations.”


To be eligible for the 540-day auto-extension rule, applicants must:

  • Timely file Form I-765 for an EAD extension before the current EAD expires (this does not apply to certain applicants with Temporary Protected Status); and
  • Request an EAD category that is the same EAD category as their current EAD and a category that is eligible for a 540-day automatic extension (see list of eligible categories below).

Please note that for H-4, E-3S, and L-2S dependent spouses a corresponding unexpired Form I-94 is required to qualify for the auto-extension rule. Moreover, please note that the 540-day automatic extension does NOT apply to F-1 STEM OPT extensions. STEM OPT extensions remain eligible for the 180-day auto-extension.

Categories Eligible for Automatic Extensions

The following employment eligible categories are eligible for automatic extensions:

Eligibility category listed on the extension renewal application Description
(a)(3) Refugee
(a)(5) Asylee
(a)(7) N-8 or N-9
(a)(8) Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau
(a)(10) Withholding of Deportation or Removal Granted
(a)(12) Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Granted
(a)(17) Spouse of principal E nonimmigrant with an unexpired I-94 showing E (including E-1S, E-2S and E-3S) nonimmigrant status
(a)(18) Spouse of principal L-1 Nonimmigrant with an unexpired I-94 showing L-2 (including L-2S) nonimmigrant status
(c)(8) Asylum Application Pending
(c)(9) Pending Adjustment of Status under Section 245 of the Act
(c)(10) Suspension of Deportation Applicants (filed before April 1, 1997)
Cancellation of Removal Applicants
Special Rule Cancellation of Removal Applicants Under NACARA
(c)(16) Creation of Record (Adjustment Based on Continuous Residence Since Jan. 1, 1972)
(c)(19) Pending initial application for TPS where USCIS determines applicant is prima facie eligible for TPS and can receive an EAD as a “temporary treatment benefit.”
(c)(20) Section 210 Legalization (pending I-700)
(c)(22) Section 245A Legalization (pending I-687)
(c)(24) LIFE Legalization
(c)(26) Spouses of certain H-1B principal nonimmigrants with an unexpired I-94 showing H-4 nonimmigrant status
(c)(31) VAWA Self-Petitioners
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