There is a new automatic extension for immigrants in the United States who have Work Permits that are about to expire, and this law grants them 365 days in addition to the renewal days.
Normally, if you are submitting your Work Permit renewal before your card expires, there is an automatic 6-month extension.
Now with this law, you will have an additional year in addition to the duration of your permit, that’s to say, it has a duration of about a year and a half.
This only applies to immigrants who have submitted their renewals before the expiration date of the current Work Permit.
This is to cover the waiting time when renewal is pending which has an automatic 6-month extension.
For people who also have their asylum status pending, even if they have their asylum cases in immigration court, it is very important to renew the Work Permit before the defensive date.
This new automatic extension only applies to individuals who submitted their renewal applications before the current Work Permit deadline, before their Work Permit expires, or is close to expiring.
Who Benefits From Work Permit Extensions?
This law affects refugees, people who are seeking asylum in immigration court or with immigration, and people who have already received approval of their asylum case and are waiting to qualify or reach the point at which they qualify and can apply for residency.
It also applies to people who are applying for VAWA or TPS, it does not apply to people who have already had TPS for many years, because other rules and extensions already cover them.
If a person from Cameroon or Venezuela for example applied for TPS (Temporary Protected Status) for the first time, this automatic extension applies to those individuals.
It also applies to people who are seeking cancellation of removal in immigration court.
Is Automatic Extension Due To Labor Shortage?
Part of the reason for this new extension is due to long backlogs with the immigration agency.
In this way, USCIS will be able to do or terminate an immigrant proceeding within the 6-month time frame as it used to be done in the past.
This new extension is to protect workers while they wait for their Work Permit renewal, and also to eliminate the immigration rush to do everything within the contemplated 6 months with so many people applying and waiting.
Why Do These Work Visa Extensions Exist?
Interestingly, the DACA program was not included as well as other programs that fall into other Work Permit categories.
We don’t know what is going on or why they passed this law, but it is good news for many people who are included in automatically getting this extension of their permits.
We believe that USCIS agents are so busy that they are granting these automatic renewals to give themselves more time to process your application.
Fear Of Renewing My Work Permit
If the automatic extension does not apply, it is always a good idea to renew your Work Permit about three to four months before its expiration date.
Preferably it is best to do it three or four months before, but there is no risk of problems or penalties with immigration if the renewal is submitted after the due date.
How To Renew My Work Permit?
In the past, people who were renewal applicants were not notified by mail to inform them that it was an automatic extension, that was in the most small words at the end of the report that read: you already have the automatic extension, and nobody noticed.
Most bosses on jobs would not accept this, and it was very common for us at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law to prepare job letters to all the lawyers on our team, explaining the extension and how they qualify, but it was very complicated, you had to go to the USCIS website and check the category on the person’s cards.
Now with the new extension, there is an announcement that USCIS is going to send to all automatically qualifying individuals explaining that they qualify for the automatic extension of 365 extra days.
No one has to take any action, USCIS will notify you that your renewal was submitted on time, and since you didn’t miss the deadline you qualify for an automatic one-and-a-half-year extension, so you do not have to do anything.
What Happens If I Don’t Renew My Work Permit?
It depends on the police in the area where you live, our recommendation is always that if your Work Permit is not expired, do not walk near the border or checkpoints in general.
There is no great risk but for example, if a person has an asylum case pending in immigration court there is no risk since you are in deportation proceedings.
The card gives you a benefit and the risk is losing your job if you cannot prove to your boss that you qualify for automatic renewal, but in general, there is no great risk.
It affects social security because most of our clients with this type of Work Permit that’s covered by such automatic extension, have social security that says: valid only in conjunction with a Work Permit that is also valid.
When your Work Permit card expires, your social security card expires as well, it would be more difficult to renew or it may not be possible to renew your driver’s license and other documents.
Can I Apply For Residency If I Am In My Home Country?
Yes, of course, it is possible if the person has a petitioner in the U.S. who qualifies, such as entering the U.S. with permanent residence.
Normally, this happens in the consular process and is a complicated issue, but it is possible to apply for residency outside of the United States.
How Long Does It Take For An EAD To Expire Before It Is Not Eligible For Renewal?
It depends a lot on the category and the reason for renewing the Work Permit, and what kind of benefits they are asking for.
Each category of a Work Permit has its own rules, so we at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law suggest that you call us if you have questions about your work permit so that we can have a personalized response.
Extension Of Work Permits & DACA
Unfortunately, the DACA program is not included and we don’t know why, we know it is somewhat unfair, but for whatever reason, the categories that are covered are asylum and other humanitarian causes.
Interestingly, the U Visa is also not included, but that is because it has its extension for U Visa applicants with deferred action and also with the Juvenile Visa.
The three programs that have deferred action of DACA, Juvenile Visa, and U Visa say they were not included in that extension probably because it is from another action.
To summarize a little, they are the cases that are subject to another response, such as deportation cases, they give you the Work Permit while they resolve the other case that is pending, which is the most important one.
DACA gives you a Work Permit when you are approved for DACA, so if the major response is pending, you are eligible and if not, you are not eligible.
In case you have additional questions about your renewal, Work Permit, or your specific case, you can contact us at (855) 502-0555. After a short 10 minute evaluation of your case over the phone we will let you know what options you have. You can also follow us on our social networks so you won’t miss our weekly broadcasts via Facebook, YouTube & Twitch.