Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization Document

November 19, 2021 • Karen Dooley

Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization Document

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. 

Karen Dooley is a senior HR consultant at TASB HR Services. Send Karen an email at

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Tagged: "Employment law", Hiring, HR