Many People Are Not Aware of Automatic Work Authorization Extensions

There are two broad categories of international workers who may not be aware of the automatic work authorization extensions their immigration status provides them. One category is non-immigrant workers in almost all of the “letter and number” designations such as H-1, L-1, R-1, O-1, E-2, etc. If the status in one of these categories is going to expire soon, many people believe they must get an extension of that status approved before the status expires or they cannot work. However, these international workers will get an automatic 240 days of work authorization the day their status expires as long as they have filed a non-frivolous extension request. That means the real date on which employment authorization ends is 240 days from the expiration of the previous status, not the day the status expires.

The other large category with an automatic work authorization extension is international workers who have an “EAD” card. Most EADs are issued in one-year increments. Many people believe they must file for the next EAD about six months before the current EAD expires to give UCIS enough time to approve the next EAD. However, there is an automatic 180-day extension of work authorization if a non-frivolous EAD application is filed before the current EAD expires.

The only extra steps which are required are that the employer must revise the employee’s I-9 to reflect each of the automatic extensions, monitor the expiration of the automatic extension and then revise the I-9 again once the non-immigrant extension of status or EAD card is approved.

If you have any questions regarding these employment benefits, please email me directly at Thank you.