On September 20, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security introduced important NEW measures to expedite the processing of work authorization permits (EADs), particularly for specific asylum seekers.
⏳Starting October 1, 2023, USCIS will accelerate the handling of Form I-765 Applications for Employment Authorization (EADs) submitted by border-crossing parolees who schedule appointments through CBP One. Eligible individuals will have the opportunity to apply for immediate employment authorization. The category used on the I-765 applications by parolees for their eligibility is (c)(11).
USCIS will reduce the typical EAD processing time from 90 days to just 30 days for these parolee applicants. To achieve this goal, USCIS will assign additional personnel and resources to the expediting process.
Additionally, USCIS will streamline the EAD processing time to 30 days for applications linked to the Uniting for Ukraine, Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan parole programs.
It’s important to enhance efficiency and help immigrants who were legally paroled inside the U.S. This hold true especially for those who have previously had to wait for over a year for a Work Permit . USCIS will extend the maximum validity of initial and renewal EADs to 5 years for specific noncitizens:
1️⃣▶️ Those admitted as refugees or granted asylum.
2️⃣▶️ Recipients of withholding of removal.
3️⃣▶️ Applicants for asylum, adjustment of status, or cancellation of removal.
USCIS expects that extending the validity period of EADs to 5 years will do the following:
– Reduce the need for frequent work authorization renewals,
– Slow confusion
– Reduce problems with employment during the waiting periods without a valid EAD in hand
– Decrease USCIS’s workload and processing times.
Currently, work permits for asylum seekers are issued for a two-year duration. There is an automatic extension in place of 590 days from the day of filing for a renewal.
Government Initiatives to Promote Work Authorizations among Parolees
The Biden administration aims to raise awareness about CBP One parolees not applying for USCIS work permits. Thousands of migrants in NYC and other locations across the U.S. don’t know they can file for a Work Permit. This is because they don’t have easy access to this important immigration legal information.
Even the Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan parolees, as well as TPS applicants, are eligible to immediately seek work authorization. However, a considerable number of them have not taken advantage of this opportunity. That means that they also do not have the knowledge of the eligibility or the resources.
In response, the U.S. government has implemented an outreach campaign, sending emails and SMS notifications to eligible parolees. This informs them of their eligibility to apply for employment authorization.
USCIS reports that it has sent over 1.4 million email and text reminders to these individuals.
Additional USCIS Actions to Improve EAD Processing Times include a temporary final rule issued in May 2022. This rule automatically extends EADs for certain renewal applicants, promptly reinstating their ability to work. USCIS has also extended EAD validity periods for asylees, refugees, noncitizens with withholding of deportation or removal, parolees, and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioners.
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