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Can I Renew My Work Permit?

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD), commonly referred to as a work permit, allows foreign nationals to work in the United States. Most EADs are valid for 1-2 years, after which a renewal is necessary. However, continued eligibility to remain in the United States is a prerequisite for renewal.

Automatic Extension for EAD Renewals

Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) implemented a rule granting an automatic extension of an EAD, making it easier for individuals to continue working legally while their renewal applications are processed. This rule can significantly impact those waiting for their renewal to be approved.

Who Needs to Renew Their Work Permit?

Anyone wishing to work in the United States after their EAD expires must apply for a renewal, provided they maintain legal authorization to reside in the country. To renew, complete Form I-765 and provide all required information. USCIS recommends submitting your renewal application 180 days before the expiration of your current work permit.

Late Renewals

Working in the U.S. without a valid work permit is prohibited. Given that USCIS can take up to a year to approve a renewal application, the government initially issued 180-day automatic extensions. Recently, USCIS announced a 540-day automatic extension for many EAD holders, providing additional time for processing.

The New 540-Day Automatic Extension

On April 4, 2024, USCIS announced a Temporary Final Rule extending the automatic extension period for certain EAD categories to 540 days. This means that if you filed for your work permit renewal on or after October 27, 2023, you will receive a 540-day extension beyond the expiration date on your EAD card. To demonstrate this extension, present your employer with your Form I-797C receipt (indicating the 180-day extension) along with your EAD.

Eligibility for the 540-Day Extension

Eligibility for the 540-day automatic extension applies to specific EAD categories. Some eligible categories include:

  • (a)(3) Refugee
  • (a)(5) Asylee
  • (c)(31) VAWA self-petitioners

If your category is not listed, consult with an attorney as your EAD might expire before your I-765 renewal application is processed, which could impact your legal status and ability to work in the U.S.

Assistance with Work Permit Authorization

At Vanderwall Immigration, we assist foreign nationals with their work permit authorization. Contact us to verify your eligibility for the 540-day renewal or for help with the renewal process. We can assist in filling out forms and collecting necessary supporting documents.

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