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EAD automatic extensions from 180 days to 540 days

by | May 7, 2024 | Immigration

Who benefits from this extension?

  • Eligible applicants who timely filed their I-765 renewal applications on or after October 27, 2023, and whose applications are still pending as of April 8, 2024 AND

  • Those filing renewal applications from April 8, 2024, through September 30, 2025, will also enjoy the extended period.

What does the EAD applicant need to do to be eligible for the 540-day auto-extension rule?

They must meet the following eligibility criteria

  • Timely and accurately file Form I-765 for EAD renewal before the current EAD expires (except for certain EAD Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applicants)

  • The EAD category must be eligible for the automatic extension and match the category of the current EAD (except for A12 or C19 categories, which are interchangeable).

  • For H-4, E, and L-2 dependent spouses, an unexpired Form I-94 indicating H-4, E, or L-2 nonimmigrant status is required to qualify for the auto-extension rule.

Which categories of EAD are eligible for this automatic extension?

Below is a non-exhaustive list of categories eligible for a 540-day automatic extension:

  • (c)(9) Pending Adjustment of Status under Section 245

  • (c)(26) Spouses of certain H-1B with an unexpired I-94 showing H-4 nonimmigrant status

  • (a)(17) Spouse of principal E 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*

  • (a)(3) Refugee

  • (a)(5) Asylee

  • (a)(12) Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Granted

  • (c)(8) Asylum Application Pending

  • (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”.

Which categories of EAD are NOT eligible for this automatic extension?

While many categories have benefited from this new rule, it is important to note that not all categories are included.

F-1 OPT and STEM OPT EAD extension applicants do not benefit from this rule. However, STEM OPT EAD applicants remain eligible for the 180-day auto-extension, if they timely and properly file their STEM OPT EAD applications.

How to complete the Form I-9 work verification of these Automatic Extensions?

For existing employees with valid employment authorization as of April 8, 2024, who are now eligible for the 540-day extension:

  • Update Section 2 as follows: Employers enter “EAD EXT” and the auto-extended date (EAD EXT mm/dd/yyyy) based on the “Card Expires” date on the EAD.

For new hires or rehires completing new Forms I-9:

  • The employer should use the EAD to complete Section 2; the receipt number should be taken from the Form I-797C and used to complete the “document number” field in Section 2. The extended expiration date should be listed and match that used in Section 1.

  • Employers enter “EAD EXT” in the Additional Information field of Section 2.

For additional information, please visit the Handbook for Employers (M-274) at Section 5.2 which provides guidance for updating Forms I-9 to include the increased 540-day extension duration period.


This is an important benefit to employers and eligible applicants. It is estimated that approximately 800,000 EAD applicants and 60,000-80,000 employers would have faced work disruption and other challenges without this extension.

This rule became effective on April 8, 2024 and ends on September 30, 2025.



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