USCIS Updates Policy Manual; Effective Immediately EADs for Applicants with Pending AOS Will be Issued with 2 Year Validity
June 9, 2021
Today the USCIS has issued three new policy updates in the USCIS Policy Manual.
- Effective immediately, the USCIS will issue initial and renewal EADs with 2 year validity, instead of just one year, for most applicants with pending AOS applications. If a qualified pending EAD application has not been approved as of June 9, we anticipate it will be granted for the new 2 year period.
- The USCIS will revert to its 2013 policy guidance for officers which says that RFEs should be issued when additional evidence could demonstrate eligibility for an immigration benefit (for example, H-1B status) unless there is “no possibility” of overcoming a finding of insufficient evidence. The Trump Administration in 2018 rescinded the 2013 policy, stating that officers may deny benefits for lack of initial evidence without first sending an RFE or NOID (notice of intent to deny).
- The USCIS clarified criteria for expedite requests and indicated it will consider all requests on a case-by-case basis, generally requiring supporting documentation for all requests. The USCIS itemized the following criteria:
- Severe financial loss to a company or person (the USCIS notes: the need to obtain employment authorization, standing alone, without evidence of other compelling factors, does not warrant expedited treatment);
- Emergencies and urgent humanitarian reasons (for example, a critical need to travel to obtain medical treatment within a limited amount of time). A desire to travel for vacation would not, in general, meet the definition of an emergency.
- A nonprofit organization (as designated by the IRS) whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the US;
- US government interests (including urgent cases for federal agencies or other public safety or national security interests), or
- Clear USCIS error.