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USCIS issues policy guidance on discretionary EAD under adjustment or deferred action applications

  1. Date Announced

    Jan. 14, 2021

    USCIS issues guidance (PA-2021-01) in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding applications for discretionary employment authorization based on 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(9) (pending application for adjustment of status under INA §245) or 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(14) (grant of deferred action). The guidance states that adjudicators must find "that the positive factors outweigh any negative factors that may be present, and that a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted." With respect to deferred action recipients, an extensive but nonexclusive list of positive and negative factors is provided. With respect to adjustment of status applicants, the policy supersedes prior policy of issuing employment authorization for a validity period of 2 years for adjustment of status applicants applying under 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(9) in instances where no immigrant visa number is available to the applicant, appearing to reduce the validity period to no more than one year. Comments are due February 15, 2021.

    [ID #1296]

    See Biden administration action below

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Jan. 15, 2021
  3. Biden Administration Action

    June 9, 2021

    This Biden administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On June 9, 2021, USCIS issued a policy alert stating that it will grant EADs valid for 2 years to certain green card applicants including those applying based on an approved Form I-130 (family-based green card) or Form I-140 (employment-based green card).

    Both initial and renewal EAD applications will be eligible for the 2-year validity period. However, replacement EADs will not be issued for 2-year validity period but will rather be issued with the same validity dates as the original EAD that is being replaced.

    2021.06.09 Employment Authorization Policy Alert
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Agency Directive
Subject Matter: Immigrant Visas DACA Enforcement
Agencies Affected: USCIS

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