The Biden administration has announced that certain categories of immigrants, including those seeking green cards and spouses of H-1B visa holders, will be permitted to continue to work in the United States for an additional 18 months after their work permits expire. This will provide relief to thousands of Indians who are currently employed in the United States and prevent further disruption for US employers.
One of the most common types of documents provided to immigrants is the Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card. It serves as proof that the holder has been granted permission to live permanently in the United States.
According to the announcement made by the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, the change will take effect on May 4, 2022.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the present Employment Authorization Cards (EADs) will automatically be renewed for a period of up to 180 days, which will be automatically extended for a total of 540 days from the expiry date shown on the card.
USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou said, “As the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) works to reduce the backlog of EAD cases, the agency has decided that the existing 180-day automatic extension for employment authorization is inadequate at this time.”
According to him, “this interim regulation will allow those non-citizens who would otherwise be eligible for the automatic extension to keep work and offer crucial assistance for their families, while minimising additional disruption for US companies.”
In accordance with USCIS, non-citizens who have filed an application for an employment authorization document renewal but have not yet received a 180-day automatic extension and whose EAD has expired will be granted an additional period of employment authorization and EAD validity beginning on May 4, 2022, and lasting up to 540 days from the expiration date of their EAD beginning on May 4, 2022.
In the event that they are still within the automatic extension term of up to 540 days and meet all other eligibility requirements, they may resume work.
Non-citizens who have a pending renewal application that is still covered by the 180-day automatic extension will be granted an additional extension of up to 360 days, for a total of up to 540 days beyond the expiration of the current EAD. Non-citizens who have a pending renewal application that is still covered by the 180-day automatic extension will not be granted an additional extension.
In the event that a noncitizen’s EAD expires before their renewal application is completed on May 4, 2022, or who promptly files an EAD renewal application by October 27, 2023, they will be allowed an automatic extension of up to 540 days until their renewal application is processed.
“The move will provide immediate assistance to around 87,000 immigrants whose work authorization has expired or is scheduled to expire within the next 30 days.
The measure is intended to solve the extraordinary backlog of 1.5 million work permit applications at the nation’s legal immigration office, which has resulted in tens of thousands of people being unable to work legally and increasing the nation’s labour shortages.
Bhutoria expressed delight at the policy shift, stating that it is good news for employers since most businesses are experiencing workforce shortages and would now be able to retain their qualified personnel.
Known as a non-immigrant visa, the H-1B permits foreign employees to work in specialty jobs that require theoretical or technical competence in the United States. Thousands of workers from countries such as India and China are hired by technology businesses as a result of this arrangement each year.
The H-1B visa programme, which is popular among foreign professionals, particularly Indians, is the most sought-after work visa available.