9/27/2023 – The USCIS announced today that it is updating guidelines to increase the maximum validity period up to five (5) years for both initial and renewal Employment Authorization Documents (also known as “EADs”). This new update impacts select categories of noncitizens who are authorized for employment in relation to their status or circumstance. Categories include those granted asylum, recipients of withholding of removal and those admitted and/or paroled as refugees. 

This increased maximum validity period for EADs is intended and expected to reduce the number of new incoming Forms I-795, Application for Employment Authorization. This is done in hopes of reducing processing times and backlogs for applicants. It is important to note that whether or not a noncitizen will maintain his or her employment authorization depends on their underlying circumstances, status and EAD filing category. 

Updated guidelines also detail the select categories of noncitizens that are automatically granted authorization to work – i.e. being employment authorized incident to circumstance or status. More information is also provided on who is eligible to present a Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) to their employers as an appropriate document supporting employment authorization under Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. 

Lastly, this update gives clarification that certain parolees from Afghanistan and Ukraine are authorized for employment incident to their parole.