A person filling visa application form - Extension of Work Permits for 18 Months By USCIS A person filling visa application form - Extension of Work Permits for 18 Months By USCIS


Extension of Work Permits for 18 Months By USCIS

United States
#immigration #workpermit

On May 3, 2022, the good news was announced by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) for holders of work permits. Their expired permit is automatically extended for the next 18 months (540 days). Thus, it will be valid till Oct. 27, 2023. Further, this extension will be effective from May 4, 2022. After this extension of work permits for 18 months by USCIS, the period of extension will be again for 180 days. It is a temporary rule and will assist immigrants by continuing their work and supporting their families without experiencing any intervals.


Who can use this extension?

This temporary rule has indeed provided signs of relief for migrants. But it is only available for specific immigrants. It includes those who want,

  • green card and 
  • the H1-B visa holders' partners.

The person who holds a green card means that he is a permanent citizen of the USA. The H1-B visa is granted to those who allow American businesses to hire persons with specialized theoretical or tech-savviness. This visa is most in demand by Chinese and Indian citizens.


Rules of USCIS

  • All immigrants with a 180-day extension and an expired work permit will have their employment authorization and EAD (Employment Authorisation Cards) validity extended. 
  • Immigrants who are still in the initial extension of 180 days will be granted an extra 360 days. It is 540 days, and they will have their EAD validity extended. 
  • Those with a legitimate EAD who have requested renewal will be offered a 540-day extension. It will be in case the renewal is not processed before the EAD expires.



Why was this extension given?

The extension of work permits for 18 months by USCIS consists of two years. This decision was taken by USCIS because of the following reasons.

  • The overall backlog of immigration applications has reached 9.5 million, even more than it was in 2019, which was 5.7 million. The work permit backlog has reached 1.5 million. Due to this giant backlog, the processing time took too much delay.
  • As the backlog took time to process, there was a need to encounter labour shortages. Thus this extension was deemed necessary, benefiting both the migrants and the Homeland Security Department of the USA.


New measures by USCIS

They have announced that new steps are being taken to increase the visa processing speed and decrease the applicant's wait time. They are also introducing the premium processing for the additional forms of the applicants.


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