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How Many Days Is Needed for Me to Renew the EAD in Advance?

Hi William:

Since my I-485 application is still pending, I need to renew my EAD. How many days is needed for me to renew the EAD in advance of the expiration? Can I work when the renew process is pending?


An alien applicant is permitted to request the renewal of an expiring EAD up to 120 days in advance of the expiration. It is advisable to take advantage of the full filing window, if the ability to work legally in the United States is based solely on the EAD. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is permitted to take up to 90 days to process EAD applications. Filing 120 days in advance allows enough time to accommodate additional minor delays or problems with the EAD request.

USCIS is taking the full 90 days, or close to 90 days, to adjudicate EADs. There have been times in the past when the USCIS processed EADs more quickly. As a result, some EAD holders file their extension requests expecting processing times in keeping with those they may have previously experienced. 

The urgent problem faced by many who have delayed their EAD extension filings is the prospect of not being permitted to work between the expiration of the current EAD and the approval and issuance of the new EAD extension. Unlike an H-1B petition, there is no employment authorization granted based upon a "pending" EAD, even if it is an extension request.

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