Employment Authorization Extensions

Employment Authorization Extensions

The following sections have information about employment authorization extensions that USCIS provides under certain conditions.

Conditional Permanent Resident

A conditional permanent resident receives a Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, (also known as Green Card) that is valid for 2 years. When they file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, DHS may extend the validity of their Green Card. For more information, see the Handbook for Employers (M-274), Section 7.1, Lawful Permanent Residents.

Deferred Enforced Departure

DHS may extend Employment Authorization Documents provided to individuals covered by Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). Visit USCIS DED or I-9 Central DED for more information.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Renewal

DHS will automatically extend EADs (Form I-766) for employees with certain EAD category codes who timely file to renew their EAD. An automatic extension also may apply if USCIS cannot issue a new EAD before the expiration date of a previous EAD, which sometimes occurs for individuals with Temporary Protected Status.

DHS announces automatic EAD extensions through the Federal Register and the USCIS website. For more information, see the Handbook for Employers (M-274), Section 4.2, Automatic Extensions of Employment Authorization Documents in Certain Circumstances, and Section 7.7.2, Automatic Extensions of EADs in Certain Circumstances.

F-1 OPT to H-1B Cap-Gap

A cap-gap is the period between the end of a nonimmigrant student’s F-1 status and the beginning of their H-1B status. An F-1 student in Optional Practical Training (OPT) whose employer timely files an H-1B petition for the student may be eligible to continue working beyond the expiration of their OPT Employment Authorization Document. For more information, see the Handbook for Employers (M-274), Section 7.4.5, Cap-Gap.

F-1 STEM OPT

F-1 students who timely file a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension application will receive an automatic extension if their OPT period expires while their application is pending. For more information, see the Handbook for Employers (M-274), Section 7.4.4, F-1 STEM OPT Extension.

H-1B Specialty Occupations

Employees in the H-1B program may have their status and employment authorization extended if their employer timely files a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to extend their employment, or if a new employer petitions to become their employer. For more information, see the Handbook for Employers (M-274), Section 7.5, H-1B Specialty Occupations.

H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker Program

Employees in the H-2A program may have their status and employment authorization extended if their employer timely files a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to extend their employment, or if a new employer petitions to become their employer. For more information, see the Handbook for Employers (M-274), Section 7.6, H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker Program.

Other Nonimmigrant Categories

Employers who timely file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, or Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker, for CW-nonimmigrants may extend the status employment authorization of their employees. For more information and a list of applicable nonimmigrant categories, see the Handbook for Employers (M-274), Section 7.7, Extensions of Stay for Other Nonimmigrant Categories.

T and U Nonimmigrants

T and U nonimmigrants are authorized to work because of their immigration status, which is valid for 4 years. Their status may be extended in certain circumstances and is automatically extended when they file to adjust status. Soon, we will add more information in the Handbook for Employers (M-274).

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

When DHS extends a TPS designation, it may also extend the corresponding Employment Authorization Document. Visit I-9 Central’s TPS webpage for more information, including a list of countries. TPS automatic extension information is also available in the Handbook for Employers (M-274), Section 4.2, Automatic Extensions of Employment Authorization Documents in Certain Circumstances, and Section 7.7.2, Automatic Extensions of EADs in Certain Circumstances.

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