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US announces extension of work permits for immigrants; Details here

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently unveiled a temporary final rule (TFR), extending the automatic extension period for certain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) from 540 days compared to 180 days earlier.

The decision builds on USCIS’ extensive modernisation efforts that have significantly reduced the EAD processing times and have reduced processing times for EADs significantly over the past year, read an official statement.

The extension has been implemented proactively to support US companies’ continuity and guarantee that non-citizens with work authorisation do not experience any disruptions in their employment status. The Biden administration’s latest effort aims to support local economies by making it easier for those with work authorisation to enter the workforce.

“Over the last year, the USCIS workforce reduced processing times for most EAD categories, supporting an overall goal to improve work access to eligible individuals. However, we also received a record number of employment authorisation applications, impacting our renewal mechanisms,” USCIS Director Ur M Jaddou said.

Jaddou asserted that temporarily lengthening the existing automatic extension by up to 540 days will avert the chances of lapses in employment authorisations.

Majorly beneficial for the South Asians and other immigrants, these policy changes come after a recommendation from Ajay Bhutoria, who is an advisor to President Joe Biden on the White House Asian-American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Commission, The Times of India reported.

Bhutoria, being a known supporter of immigration changes, has been instrumental in efforts to minimise the backlog of green cards, which have impacted more than a million South Asians. Because of his influence, the State Department launched a pilot program to stamp H1B visas domestically within the United States as part of a renewal process.

This extension will majorly help foreign nationals seeking permanent residency and asylum seekers. It addresses the needs of up to 800,000 immigrants who may otherwise lose their work permits and jobs. The modification also represents USCIS’s continued efforts to restore its processing capabilities, which were hampered by policy changes made under the previous administration, reports added.

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