USCIS Update: Extension of Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Validity Period to 5 Years for Specific Categories

Published: 10/02/2023

In an effort to streamline employment authorization processes and reduce backlogs, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently updated its Policy Manual. Released on September 27, 2023, the new guidance extends the maximum validity period for initial and renewal Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to 5 years for certain categories of noncitizens. This article covers the key points of these revisions and the implications they carry for both noncitizens and employers.

Who Benefits from the Extension?
  1. Noncitizens who are employment-authorized incident to status or circumstance: This includes those who have been admitted as refugees, paroled as refugees, granted asylum or recipients of withholding of removal.
  2. Certain noncitizens who must apply for employment authorization: These are applicants for asylum or withholding of removal, those seeking adjustment of status under INA 245, and individuals facing suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal.
Automatic Employment Authorization

The updated guidance outlines the categories of noncitizens who are automatically authorized to work. Such individuals can present a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, as an acceptable document for employment eligibility verification. Note that Form I-94 must be accompanied by identity documentation to complete the employment authorization process under List C of Form I-9.

Special Mention for Afghan and Ukrainian Parolees

The policy clarification includes that certain parolees from Afghanistan and Ukraine are considered employment-authorized incident to their parole status.

Rationale for the Extension

The USCIS aims to significantly cut down the number of new Forms I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) for renewal EADs in the coming years. This is expected to contribute to reducing associated processing times and application backlogs.

Points to Consider

It is crucial to note that maintaining employment authorization remains conditional on the underlying status, circumstances, and the specific EAD filing category. For instance, if an individual’s EAD is issued for 5 years based on a pending adjustment of status application and the application is subsequently denied, their employment authorization may be terminated before the EAD’s expiration date.


The recent USCIS update serves as a significant stride in simplifying the employment authorization landscape for both noncitizens and employers. While it aims to alleviate some of the bureaucratic burdens, it’s vital to understand the nuances of the new policy and how it affects different categories of noncitizens.

Read More : Rjimmigrationlaw

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