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I Am Waiting For My Adjustment Of Status To Be Approved But My Temporary EAD Is Expiring – What Should I Do?

I am waiting for my adjustment of status to be approved but my temporary EAD is expiring – what should I do?

A lot of our clients are finding themselves in a frustrating situation. They filed an adjustment of status application (Form I-485) and were issued a 12-month temporary work authorization (EAD). So far, so good, except that the EAD is about to expire and they still haven’t been scheduled for an interview in their adjustment case. What should they do?

This is a relatively new problem. Adjustment applications used to be processed fast enough that an applicant would be scheduled for an interview before her temporary EAD expired. Processing times of about eight months were fairly standard in the Seattle local office, for example. But not anymore.

The Trump administration has instituted a number of policies that have caused many different types of applications to take far longer than they used to. Adjustment applications, for example, now take well over a year at the Seattle office. So a huge number of adjustment applicants are now finding themselves stuck with EADs that are going to expire long before they are scheduled for an adjustment interview.

Don’t panic.

File a new Form I-765 to renew your temporary EAD.

To renew your temporary EAD you need to file another Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. According to USCIS guidelines, you can file the renewal application up to 180 days (roughly 6 months) before the expiration date of your current EAD.

For someone with a pending Form I-485, you qualify for renewal under the category “(c)(9).” That is the same category that was referenced when you applied for an EAD at the time you filed the Form I-485.

You will need to file your Form I-765 along with a copy of the receipt notice for your Form I-485 (which is issued on Form I-797 Notice of Action). Again, you do not need to include a filing fee due to your eligibility category.

The filing address for your Form I-765 is specific to individuals with pending adjustment applications. Go to this USCIS webpage and scroll down to where you see the information for “If You Have a Pending Adjustment of Status Application.”

Your EAD is automatically extended 180 days after you file the Form I-765.

Because of the serious problem with case backlogs, USCIS adopted a new policy in early 2017. Under this policy, your EAD is automatically extended for 180 days (roughly six months) at the time you file your Form I-765. When you file the Form I-765, you can therefore now use your filing receipt as proof of your work authorization.

Important: the Form I-765 does not authorize you to travel outside the U.S.

When you first applied for adjustment of status you probably filed both a Form I-765 and Form I-131. The Form I-765 is used for work authorization and the Form I-131 is used to request permission to travel outside the U.S. while your adjustment application is under review. When you got your first EAD, it probably came on a “combo card” – it called that because the card showed both your work authorization and also your “advance parole,” which is the permission to travel outside the U.S.

Filing a Form I-765 as described above is the proper procedure for extending your work authorization. But doing so does not automatically extend your permission to leave the U.S. To do that you must file a separate Form I-131 application. The Form I-131 may be filed at a different location as shown on this USCIS webpage. As shown on that page, the filing location depends on your Form I-485 receipt number.

You are not required to renew your travel authorization. But once the travel authorization has expired you cannot leave the U.S. before your Form I-485 is approved. If you do leave, your Form I-485 is considered “abandoned” and will be lost.

I am waiting for my adjustment of status to be approved but my temporary EAD is expiring – what should I do?
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Greg McLawsen

I’m proud to be the founder of Sound Immigration. My job is to work behind the scenes to ensure our clients have an outstanding experience at our firm. I’m passionate about reinventing the practice of law to make it work better for those we serve. I work hard to identify the best available technology to make our firm convenient for clients. I look to other industries, like real estate and the restaurant business, to learn about practice that will help serve our clients better.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Hi I find your article to be very helpful with regards to my case…I filed for I-751 last year and had done with my biometrics after that..I received a 12 month extension that expired may of this year…I later got a notice notifying me that they moved my case to Nebraska..I got an 18 month extension early august in the mail..however this extension will be expiring this november…I called uscis and they told me to schedule an infopass online…I had been trying to get an appointment however there are no available appointment everytime I check…it says they will post appointment every 14 days…My question is what will happen if my 18 month extension expires while my case is still pending and no available appointment at the uscis field office?Is it possible for me to go to the uscis field office and obtain an appointment there if I cant make one online?

    I would really appreciate your response.
    Thank you!

      1. Hi greg thank you for your reply! I just want to clarify that im not looking for employment as of the moment, im currently a housewife, a young mother of an energetic toddler, also we are not planning on vacationing out of the country anytime soon, I’m just concerned about my status as a conditional resident. Just wondering if they would initiate deportation after the extension expires while the case is still pending. Thank you so much!

        1. Check out the post – it explains that you remain a resident until the 751 is approved (at which point you become a non conditional resident). Good luck with the toddler. If anything is tougher than US immigration law it is parenting.

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