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USCIS to Issue Two-Year Employment Authorization Documents

WASHINGTON— U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that beginning on June 30, 2008 it will issue Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) valid for two years.

The new two-year EAD is only available to individuals who have filed to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) using a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and filed for employment authorization under Section 274.a.12(c)(9) of Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations (8 C.F.R.) but are unable to become an LPR because an immigrant visa number is not currently available.

USCIS will decide whether to renew an EAD for either a one or two year validity period based on the most recent Department of State Visa Bulletin. A link to these bulletins is available under the related links section of this page.

For applicants who have an available immigrant visa number and who are filing for employment authorization under 8 C.F.R. Section 274.a.12(c)(9), USCIS will continue to grant EADs that are valid for one-year. USCIS may issue a two-year renewal EAD if the applicant’s immigrant visa availability date retrogresses (when actual demand for visa numbers exceeds forecasted supply) after the Form I-485 is filed.

If an individual requests to replace an EAD that has not expired, USCIS will issue a replacement EAD that is valid through the same date as the previously issued EAD. However, if the previous EAD has expired, USCIS will process the request for a renewal EAD and determine the appropriate validity period based on the applicant’s priority date and the Department of State Visa Bulletin.

For more information on Employment Authorization Documents, please contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283 or review the USCIS Employment Authorization Documents web page, found in the related links section of this page.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/12/2008