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This USCIS update is relevant and important to asylum seekers because it discusses modifications to the Policy Manual regarding the maximum validity period for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for certain noncitizens. This policy change has implications for asylum seekers who are employment authorized incident to their status or circumstance, as well as applicants for asylum or withholding of removal.
The Policy Manual now allows for EADs to have a maximum validity period of 5 years, both for initial issuance and renewal. This change is significant as it aims to reduce the number of new Form I-765 applications received for EAD renewals, thus contributing to efforts to reduce processing times and backlogs.
For asylum seekers who are granted asylum or are pending asylum applications, this policy change means that they may be eligible to receive an EAD with a validity period of up to 5 years. This extended validity period provides them with greater stability and certainty in their employment authorization. It also means they will have fewer renewals to worry about, reducing the administrative burden associated with maintaining their employment authorization.
Additionally, this policy change also benefits noncitizens who are employment authorized incident to their parole status. Specifically, it mentions certain Afghan and Ukrainian parolees who are now considered employment authorized incident to parole. This is relevant for asylum seekers who are granted parole, as it clarifies their employment authorization rights.
However, it is important to note that the maintenance of employment authorization is still dependent on the individual’s underlying status, circumstances, and the category under which they filed their EAD application. For instance, if an individual’s adjustment of status application is denied after receiving an EAD, their ancillary employment authorization may be terminated before the expiration date listed on their EAD.
Overall, this policy change provides asylum seekers with longer periods of employment authorization, reducing the need for frequent EAD renewals. It brings stability and certainty to their employment situations, potentially alleviating some of the challenges and uncertainties that they may face during the asylum process. Asylum seekers should consult with legal professionals to fully understand the implications of this policy change on their specific case and employment authorization status.
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