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  • Should employees stop working until they have their EBD? • australiabusinessblog.com

Should employees stop working until they have their EBD? • australiabusinessblog.com

Here’s another edition from “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at tech companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that empowers people around the world to push beyond limits and chase their dreams,” says Sophie Acorn, a Silicon Valley immigration lawyer. “Whether you’re in people management, a founder, or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your questions in my next column.”

australiabusinessblog.com+ members get access to weekly ‘Dear Sophie’ sections; use promo code ALCORN to buy a one or two year subscription at 50% off.

Dear Sophie,

One of our employees has an H-4 visa and has a work permit document. It has been five months since he applied for his EAD, which expires next month. Is there a way to speed up this process? Will he have to stop working if he doesn’t receive his new EAD card before his old one expires?

Because it takes so long to get EAD cards, we are concerned about another of our employees, who has an L-2 visa with an EAD expiring early next year.

In addition, the H-4 visa officer wants to visit his family in India as it has been more than three years since his last visit. Can he and his family return to the US after four weeks?

– Conscious manager

Dear Mindfull,

Thank you for contacting me with all your questions about Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), also known as work permits. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has made a number of changes to reduce case backlogs and improve the quality of service. One of the areas it has focused on is reducing processing times for EBDs and extending their validity to avoid work interruptions.

In recent years, USCIS has fallen behind due to the pandemic, funding issues, and reliance on paper processing for most immigration benefits. Right now, USCIS is taking from everywhere five months to 9.5 months to process an H-4 EAD application or extension, depending on the USCIS service center handling the request.

A composite image of immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Image Credits: Joanna Bunjak / Sophie Acorn (Opens in a new window)

While USCIS works to expand premium processing to additional immigration forms, it remains unavailable for Form I-765, which is used to apply for and renew work permits. With premium processing, USCIS guarantees to process an application within 15 days for a fee.

However, there is good news for you and your employees!

Work permits for H-4 visa holders

H-4 visa holders, who are the spouses of H-1B visa holders, got some relief in the EAD process this year.

In May, USCIS issued a temporary rule to reduce EAD backlogs, as well as the stress for H-4 visa holders and their employers. These visa holders can have their EADs extended for up to 540 days if the individual had an extension application pending with USCIS on or after May 4, 2022, or submitted an extension application on or after that date.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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