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Automatic EAD Extensions for Pending AOS Applicants & I-9 Compliance

Earlier this year, USCIS announced the automatic extension of expiring EADs for up to 180 days certain applicants to try and prevent gaps in employment authorization for certain individuals.

USCIS has a list of which categories are eligible for the automatic extension if they meet certain criteria, which can be found at: Automatic Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Extension.

One of the most prominent categories eligible for the automatic extension is (c)(9) - Applications with pending adjustment of status application.  

So the criteria?

  • Properly file an application for a renewal EAD before the current EAD expires; and
  • Your currently issued EAD Category Code matches the Category Code you are seeking on the renewal EAD.

So how does this work with an employer asking for employment re-verification based on an expiring EAD? 

USCIS updated M-274, Handbook for Employers, to provide guidance to employers on this matter.  

Specifically, M-274 Section 4.2 - Automatic Extensions of EADs in Certain Circumstances, which confirms which categories are eligible for the automatic extension and the requirements for the automatic extension. This section goes on to confirm that the combination of:

  • the employee's expired EAD card; and 
  • the Form I-797 Receipt Notice from USCIS showing that the EAD renewal application was timely filed and showing the same category as the one on the employee's EAD card,

are an acceptable combination of documentation to demonstrate employment authorization and identity. This document combination is considered the equivalent of an unexpired Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766), a List A Document. 

The section also provides guidance to HR professionals in completing the I-9 sections in these situations and required reverification procedures. 

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