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Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization Document

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Organizations employing foreign nationals have encountered struggles in determining continued eligibility to work for those renewing their employment authorization document.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has provided guidance in its Handbook for Employers M-274 in section 4.4—Automatic Extensions of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) in Certain Circumstances. This document was last reviewed and updated on November 16, 2021.

The automatic extension applies to individuals in certain employment eligibility categories filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to renew their EAD. The extension begins on the expiration date of the original documents and continues up to 180 days, unless the USCIS denies the application.

An automatic extension depends on the following requirements, as noted on the USCIS website:

  • Timely filing of the Form I-765 renewal application prior to expiration of the EAD
  • Eligibility category on the EAD must match the eligibility category on Form I-765
  • Eligibility category must qualify for the 180-day extension

Additionally, an EAD is automatically extended when the employee also presents Form I-797 showing a timely filed EAD renewal application.

Section 4.4 of the Handbook for Employers also provides examples of documents to assist an employer in finding the needed information to determine the availability of an extension. Guidance is also provided for an employer to complete Form I-9 based on a pending renewal. 

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Karen Dooley
Karen Dooley
HR Services Assistant Director

Karen Dooley joined HR Services in 2016. She provides oversight to a team of consultants providing staffing services, HR reviews, and other projects. She provides training and assists school districts with their HR-related needs. Dooley is a seasoned administrator with more than 17 years of HR experience in Central Texas districts as a coordinator, director, and assistant superintendent. She also worked as an assistant principal, counselor, and teacher, and holds a superintendent certificate.

Dooley received her master’s degree from Prairie View A&M University and her bachelor’s degree from Texas State University.

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