Biden Administration announces 1.5 year extension for work permits, Indians to benefit


The United States Government has announced an automatic extension of 1.5 years of the expiring work permits for certain categories of immigrants. It also includes those seeking green cards and spouses of H-1B visa holders who get the employment authorization cards (EAD), for a year and a half. The decision announced by the Department of Homeland Security is also likely to benefit thousands of Indian immigrants. Notably, the H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows American companies to employ foreign workers in the specialty jobs in the country.

US extends tenure of work permits: Key details

1. The extension period of up to 180 days will automatically be extended to up to 540 days from the expiration date.

2. As the US Citizenship Immigration Services works to address the pending Employment Authorisation Cards (EAD) caseloads, the agency has determined that the current 180-day automatic extension of employment authorization is currently insufficient.

3. The non-citizens with pending EAD renewal applications whose 180-day automatic extension has lapsed and whose EAD has expired will be granted an additional period of employment and the EAD validity beginning May 4, 2022, and lasting up to 540 days from the expiration days of EAD.

1.5 year extension for work permits: Why is it significant?

The decision will help around 87,000 immigrants whose work authorization has lapsed or is set to in the next 30 days.

As per the US Government, as many as 4,20,000 immigrants renewing their work permits will be protected from losing their ability to work for the duration of the policy.

The change is also meant to address the unprecedented backlog of 1.5 million work permit applications at the nation’s legal immigration agency.

Good news for employees in the US

The policy change will allow the employers to continue their workers and the eligible immigrants to work on the expired documents for up to 540 days, rather than 180.

It means that tens of thousands of employees past their 180-day window have as much as another year of the work authorization as of May 4, 2022.

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