U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on September 27, 2023, that it is increasing the maximum validity period to five years for initial and renewal Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for certain noncitizens who are employment-authorized incident to status or circumstance, including those admitted as refugees, paroled as refugees, and granted asylum, as well as recipients of withholding of removal.

USCIS is also increasing the maximum validity period to five years for initial and renewal EADs for certain noncitizens who must apply for employment authorization, including applicants for asylum or withholding of removal, adjustment of status under INA § 245, and suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal.

The agency noted that its updated guidance also explains the categories of noncitizens who are automatically authorized to work (also known as being employment-authorized incident to status or circumstance) and provides information on who can present a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, to an employer as an acceptable document showing employment authorization under List C of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The guidance also clarifies that certain Afghan and Ukrainian parolees are employment-authorized incident to parole.

USCIS noted that whether the noncitizen maintains employment authorization remains dependent on their underlying status, circumstances, and EAD filing category. For example, USCIS said, “if an individual received an EAD under the (c)(9) category based on a pending adjustment of status application for the maximum validity period of 5 years, and the adjustment application is then denied, their ancillary employment authorization may be terminated before the expiration date listed on their EAD.”

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