Biden extends some immigrant work permits


This is the latest step by the Biden Administration to get work-authorized individuals into the workforce, supporting the economies where they live…reports Asian Lite News

A temporary final rule (TFR) was recently announced by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), building on significant modernization efforts that have streamlined the eligibility of immigrants for work permits.

The TFR extends the automatic 180-day period for certain employment authorization documents (EADs) to 540 days.

This statement comes after upgrades that, over the previous 12 months, have drastically shortened EAD processing times.

The temporary measure announced on Thursday will prevent already work-authorized noncitizens from having their employment authorization and documentation lapse while waiting for USCIS to adjudicate their pending EAD renewal applications and better ensure continuity of operations for US employers.

This is the latest step by the Biden Administration to get work-authorized individuals into the workforce, supporting the economies where they live.

The landmark announcement, particularly benefiting South Asian immigrants, follows a recommendation made by Ajay Bhutoria, Advisor to President Biden on the White House Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Commission.

Bhutoria’s relentless advocacy efforts have consistently aimed at immigration reforms and green card backlog reduction, benefiting over 1 million South Asians.

Notably, his previous recommendations to the White House AANHPI Commission led to the launch of a pilot program by the State Department enabling H1B visa domestic renewal stamping within the USA.

The announcement by USCIS is a testament to the impact of community advocacy and collaborative efforts in shaping policies that directly impact immigrant communities.

“Over the last year, the USCIS workforce reduced processing times for most EAD categories, supporting an overall goal to improve work access to eligible individuals. However, we also received a record number of employment authorization applications, impacting our renewal mechanisms,” said USCIS Director Ur M Jaddou, according to an official press release.

“Temporarily lengthening the existing automatic extension up to 540 days will avoid lapses in employment authorizations. At the same time, this rule provides DHS with an additional window to consider long-term solutions by soliciting public comments, and identifying new strategies to ensure those noncitizens eligible for employment authorization can maintain that benefit.”

Asylum seekers and foreign nationals who are applying for permanent residency will be the two main beneficiary categories of the change.

According to a USCIS spokesperson, up to 800,000 immigrants were at risk of losing jobs, and their work permits overall if the new regulation was not implemented.

The move will also be advantageous to USCIS, which has been actively restoring its processing capacity after the Trump administration shifted the agency’s focus away from processing applications, which hindered its ability to make decisions quickly.

It is for the second time the Biden administration has announced an extension to 540 days. On October 27, 2023, the initial extension that was declared in 2022 came to an end, and the automatic extensions went back to 180 days, according to The Hill.

The new extension will apply to all immigrant categories that were covered by the 2022 one.(ANI)

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