News & Insights

USCIS To Start Issuing 2-year EADs For Adjustment Applicants And New Expedited Processing Criteria

On June 9, 2021, USCIS announced some important policy changes as well as their intention to start issuing 2-year EADs (Employment Authorization Document) for certain adjustment of status applicants.

2- year EADs

Certain adjustment of status applicants will now receive a 2-year EAD, instead of just a 1-year card.  Although adjustment of status applicants are generally entitled to an automatic 180- day extension provided they file a timely renewal application before their current EAD expires, with the massive backlog and increase in processing times individuals were still experiencing gaps in employment.  Receiving a 2-year EAD will provide applicants with more certainty and should hopefully avoid the need to even have to file a renewal.  This guidance is effective immediately and therefore if you are expecting an EAD card you should receive a card with a 2- year validity.

Expedited processing

USCIS has now updated its expedited processing criteria.  A lot of applicants are always wondering how to get their cases expedited, especially the EAD and travel documents.  Most expedite requests are submitted based on either severe financial loss or humanitarian reasons. While every request is determined on a case-by-case basis, at PLG we are started to see an increase in approvals for expedited requests.  Under the new guidance, USCIS will now allow nonprofit organizations whose “request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interest of the United States.”

RFE & NOID guidance

In July 2018, under the Trump administration, USCIS issued new guidance on RFEs (Requests for Further Evidence) and NOIDs (Notice of Intent to Deny), which allowed USCIS to deny a case without first issuing an RFE or NOID.  USCIS has confirmed they will now revert to the 2013 guidance which requires an adjudicating officer to first issue an RFE or NOID.  This allows applicants to correct any mistakes and provide further documents/information should the officer require it.

At PLG we are happy to see an administration that takes a more common-sense approach to develop Immigration policies. If you have questions about any of the above issues, please reach out to PLG Partner Chris Prescott at cprescott@patellegal.com

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