Foreign nationals who have been authorized to work in Texas on an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) must ensure their document doesn’t expire so they can continue to work and avoid falling out of status. Generally, EAD’s will specify the period of time in which a foreign national is permitted to work, however, if the EAD holder’s employer will need them to continue working, they can submit a new Form I-765 to renew their document. Although the renewal application should be submitted prior to the EAD expiring, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)suggests that an individual does not file for a renewal more than 180 days before their original EAD expires.
What happens if an EAD expires while an individual’s renewal application is being processed?
If during the time an EAD holder’s renewal application is being processed, their document expires, under certain circumstances will USCIS grant an individual an automatic extension of their expiring EAD for up to 180 days, unless the agency denies their application prior to this. Essentially, what this means is that if an EAD holder’s document expired while they were waiting for USCIS to process their request for renewal, USCIS may give them a 180-day extension while they wait for their application to be processed.
According to USCIS, an automatic EAD extension depends on the following requirements:
- An employee must have filed their Form I-765 before it expired, and their application is in pending status.
- The employee’s eligibility category listed on their EAD is the same on their Form I-797C.
- The current EAD categories that qualify for a 180-day automatic extension include: A03, A05, A07, A08, A10, C08, C09, C10, C16, C20, C22, C24, C31, A12, or C19.
If an individual is unclear as to whether they qualify to receive this automatic 180-day extension, they can always contact the Texas immigration lawyers at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen.
Requesting a Change of Status After Entering the U.S. on an EAD
If an individual is working in Texas on an EAD and they would like to adjust their status to an employment visa or a more permanent status, they should speak with a Texas immigration lawyer. USCIS does have specific criteria that must be met before an individual can adjust their status and an immigration attorney is the best person to determine if an EAD holder is eligible to apply for this.
The Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen can be reached at:
310 South St. Mary’s Street, Suite 2100
San Antonio, Texas 78205