The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has announced plans to increase the validity length of work authorization cards for certain immigrant classifications. This is an effort to reduce the times that immigrant workers would need to file the applications. USCIS is currently facing an enormous backlog of nearly 4 million applications, leading to inordinately long delays for decisions on many applications.
While many applications were previously processed in a matter of weeks, those same applications are now taking several months, or even years, to complete. As a result, immigrants’ temporary work authorizations are expiring before a decision is made. Accordingly, USCIS said that they would extend the validity length immigrants falling into six categories:
- Those granted asylum
- Individuals granted withholding of deportation or removal
- Applicants applying under the Violence Against Women Act
- Individuals paroled into the country for urgent humanitarian reasons
- Individuals granted deferred action
The validity length would be extended from one year to two years and would be effective immediately once fully implemented.
Source: The National Law Review