Handling the Automatic Authorization Document Extension

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In April 2024, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) increased the automatic extension period for certain employment authorization documents (EADs) from 180 days to 540 days. The temporary measure will prevent already work-authorized noncitizens from having their employment authorization and documentation lapse while waiting for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjudicate their pending EAD renewal applications and better ensure continuity of operations for U.S. employers. 

According to the USCIS, this measure protects nearly 800,000 EAD renewal applicants from experiencing a lapse in their employment authorization and approximately 80,000 employers from being negatively impacted by this loss.  

Applicants Eligible for Extension

The automatic extension period is provided to certain renewal applicants to help prevent gaps in employment authorization and documentation, including those in the following situations: 

  • Employees who fall into one of the eligible categories within the Form I-765. A full list can be found on the USCIS website.  
  • Applicants who have applied to renew their EADs on or after Oct. 27, 2023. 
  • Must be applying for an EAD in the same category as their current EAD (except for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which can be A12 or C19). 

What Employers Need to Know

All workers employed in the U.S. must be able to present proper documents of their identity and work authorization for purposes of completing the Form I-9. When an employee’s EAD on file expires, and the worker is unable to present a new proper document for purposes of the I-9, the employer must take the worker off payroll. Once the individual is again employment-authorized, the employer should prepare a new I-9 or use Section 3 on the old form to document this situation as a rehire instead of reverification. If there is a lapse in employment authorization, this should be treated as a rehire to properly document the employee was not employed without authorization. 

There are two ways employees can provide proof they are eligible for the 540-day automatic extension:  

  1. Those who filed for renewal on or after May 4, 2022, and before Oct. 27, 2023, should have a receipt referencing the 540-day extension. 
  2. Those who file for renewal on or after April 8, 2024, should receive a receipt notice explaining the 540-day rule. 

The employee needs to show the Form I-797C receipt and the qualifying EAD. With both of these documents in hand, the Form I-9 can be completed. To learn more about the employment authorization verification process, visit the USCIS I-9 Central.  

Here to Help

Managing the ever-changing payroll regulations impacting your business can be a daunting task. By working with a trusted payroll provider, we make it easy to track each employee’s status as they await their EAD. Our software allows you to track the status at each stage and apply a reason code for auditing. If the employee is rehired, all the historical data for that employee will be stored in the system. In addition, our domestic-based customer support team is available to help with activating and deactivating employees. 

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