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Understanding H4 EAD Automatic Extension

3 min read

H4 visa holders who need an EAD extension must first make sure that they have a current and valid i94. They must also check their receipt notice to see if they qualify for the 540-day automatic extension rule. An attorney can help you understanding H4 EAD Automatic Extension.

The new EAD automatic extension rule was published as a response to massive USCIS backlogs of EAD renewal applications. VisaNation Law Group can help you better understand the EAD automatic extension rules and determine your eligibility.

What is an H4 EAD?

H-4 is a nonimmigrant visa/status that grants dependent spouses the right to work in the United States. Spouses of H-1B visa holders (temporary workers in a specialty occupation) can obtain an EAD, which is similar to a green card and allows them to legally work in the country.

USCIS often experiences processing delays when adjudicating EAD applications and renewals. This can lead to uncertainty and gaps in work authorization. As a result, many H-4 visa holders have sought legal relief to ensure they can continue working.

In 2022, USCIS announced a plan to streamline overall EAD processing times and reduce backlogs. One of the key components of this plan is to increase EAD automatic extensions from 180 days to 540 days. This article will discuss the details of this change, including who it applies to and how it works. It will also explain why the extension period was increased and what it means for EAD applicants.

Who is Eligible for an EAD Automatic Extension?

Due to the backlog of EAD renewal applications, USCIS has issued a temporary final rule that increases the 180-day automatic extension period to 540 days. This temporary extension applies to H4 visa holders who submit a timely-filed Form I-765 EAD renewal application. However, it will only last until a denial decision is made on the EAD renewal application or until 540 days passes from the expiration date of the EAD card.

The 540-day TFR helps to resolve the issue of EAD holders who have been unable to work for long periods of time. Without a valid EAD, these individuals face many legal issues both in their personal and professional lives. The EAD automatic extension laws update was implemented as a temporary final rule, which means that it is subject to future review. For this reason, it is best to consult with an experienced green card lawyer when filing for EAD renewals. This allows an attorney to prepare the best possible case to maximize your chances of success.

How Does an EAD Automatic Extension Work?

Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing shortages, USCIS encountered immense backlogs in processing EAD renewal applications. These backlogs posed a serious problem for employers and employees, as their employment authorization and EAD validity could be impacted by delays in USCIS’s approval process.

The good news is that H4 visa holders can now enjoy 180 day automatic extensions during the EAD renewal process. This extension is possible due to a recent temporary final rule issued by USCIS.

The new rule increases the EAD validity from 180 days to up to 540 days. This increase is a significant benefit that helps eligible individuals avoid gaps in work authorization and keeps them employed and productive in the United States. This change is effective May 4, 2022, and will remain in effect until October 27, 2023. A green card attorney can help you understand this update and determine if it applies to your circumstances. To learn more, schedule a consultation.

What Can I Do if My EAD Automatic Extension Does Not Work?

H-4 visa holders rely on the ability to work legally in the United States for financial reasons. However, delays in EAD renewal processing can cause significant disruptions to their lives. In an effort to reduce EAD processing times, USCIS recently announced a temporary final rule.

This rule increases the automatic extension period from 180 days to 540 days for EAD renewals. This change primarily addresses the significant gaps that occur between when an EAD expires and when USCIS approves a renewal application.

If you are an H-4 visa holder and need to file an EAD renewal, it is important to know that the new auto-extension feature only applies for EAD renewals. If you need to file an H-4 EAD for the first time, you will have to pay for premium processing to expedite your case. The attorneys at VisaNation Law Group can explain this in more detail during your initial consultation. Click here to schedule yours today.