U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating policy guidance in the USCIS
Policy Manual regarding maximum validity periods for Employment Authorization Documents
(EADs, Form I-766) issued to refugees and asylees, noncitizens paroled as refugees, noncitizens
granted withholding of removal, noncitizens with pending applications for asylum or withholding
of removal, noncitizens with pending applications for adjustment of status under INA 245, and
noncitizens seeking suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal.
USCIS is also clarifying that the Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) may be used as evidence of both status and
employment authorization for certain EAD categories that are employment authorized incident to
status or parole.
A noncitizen must obtain employment authorization in order to work in the United States legally.
While certain classes of noncitizens are authorized to engage in employment through their
immigration status, commonly referred to as employment authorization incident to status, other
classes of noncitizens are authorized to engage in employment only if they apply for and are granted
such authorization by USCIS.
In certain cases, USCIS may issue an EAD to serve as evidence of employment authorization. USCIS has the discretion to assign the validity period for EADs issued to noncitizens in both of these categories of employment
Currently, USCIS policy guidance provides for a maximum 2-year validity period for EADs issued to
asylees and refugees, noncitizens granted withholding of deportation or removal, noncitizens with
pending applications for asylum or withholding of removal, and noncitizens with pending
applications for adjustment of status under INA 245; and a maximum 1-year validity period for
noncitizens paroled as refugees and noncitizens seeking suspension of deportation or cancellation of
In the interest of reducing the burden on both USCIS and the public, USCIS is revising its
guidelines to increase the maximum EAD validity periods for these categories up to 5 years.
This update addresses certain EAD-related stakeholder feedback USCIS received in response to a
Request for Public Input (RPI).
Specifically, the RPI feedback suggested increasing maximum Employment Authorization Document
validity period guidelines for certain categories. USCIS has determined that it is appropriate to issue
revised guidance that increases the maximum EAD validity periods for the categories mentioned
above. The increase in the EAD validity period will reduce the frequency with which affected
noncitizens must file an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) with USCIS if they
wish to renew their EAD.
This update also includes other clarifications related to employment authorization, including
clarifying that the Form I-94 can be used as both evidence of status and employment authorization for
certain noncitizens who are employment authorized incident to status or circumstance.
This guidance, contained in Volumes 3 and 10 of the Policy Manual, is effective immediately, and
applies to Applications for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) that are pending or are filed on
or after September 27, 2023
Source: USCIS Newsroom