What is the automatic 180 day extension?
Aliens that are in the U.S. in certain immigrant/non-immigrant categories can get an automatic 180 day extension if:
- You properly file your renewal EAD application before your current EAD expires;
- Your EAD renewal application is for a category that qualifies for the automatic 180-day extension; and
- The first and the renewal application were filed under the same eligibility category.
If you meet all three requirements, you will get an automatic extension of your EAD for up to 180 days. This means, that you can keep working in the U.S. even though you do not have a physical EAD renewed card yet. You can keep working in the U.S. for up to 180 days. However, if your renewal EAD application is denied, you have to stop working immediately.
Please note that the E-2 spouses, L-1 spouses, and H-1B spouses do not qualify for the automatic 180-day extension. You would qualify for the extension for example if you filed a green card application under section 245 of Immigration and Nationality Act (for example, if you got married to a US citizen and you applied for a green card).
I thought that E-2 spouses qualified for the automatic 180 day extension and my EAD expires in 2 weeks. Is there any way to expedite the renewal EAD application? Can I file an Expedite Request?
You may ask USCIS to expedite the adjudication of renewal EAD application. However, USCIS has very strict criteria as to when you can make an expedite request. These are the situations when you can make an expedite request:
- There is a severe financial loss to a company or person, if the urgent action is not the result of the your failure to:
- File the renewal application or expedite request in a reasonable time frame, or
- Respond to any requests for additional evidence in a reasonable time frame.
Please note that the need to continue employment alone without any other evidence is not sufficient for USCIS to grant the expedite request.
- Urgent humanitarian reasons
- Compelling US government interests, or
- Clear USCIS error
Moreover, USCIS considers all expedite requests on case-by-case basis and the USCIS officer has the sole discretion to decide whether to approve or deny your request. There is a very high bar for approval.
Do I need to submit any documents when asking for an expedite request?
Yes, when making the expedite request, you have to submit documents supporting your expedite request. If you are making an expedite request based on the fact that you (or a company) will suffer severe financial loss, you will have to submit documents establishing the loss (to you or a company) and you have to submit documents showing that you are not able to withstand the temporary financial loss that is the natural result of normal processing times.
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