Delay in having your EAD issued? You are not the only one.

imgresUSCIS, under it guidelines, is suppose to adjudicate an EAD application for an adjustment applicant within 90 days of filing.  If they are unable to do so, the regulations clearly state that an interim EAD is suppose to be made available to the applicant.  However, realistically, USCIS has not had a process in place to issue such interim EADs, nor have they actually issued such interim EADs, in many, many years.  Unfortunately, USCIS has also confirmed as recently as September of last year, that is still having issues adjudicating EAD applications in a timely manner.  So what can you do to potentially avoid being with out work authorization?

I think the first, and best course of action, is to make sure to file your applications for work authorization as quickly and early as you can.  For renewal applications, this means you can file up to 120 ahead of the expiration of your current EAD card.  We would certainly advise doing so, just to protect yourself.

A second option open is to start a service request if your EAD has been pending for 75 days or more.  We would definately urge people to initiate the request ON the 75th day, and to not wait for 90 days to pass.  To start a request, you can either call the 1-800 number (1-800-375-5283) or use the e-request system that USCIS has set up for online request submissions. By using one of these systems, you are alerting USCIS to the fact that there is an issue and, hopefully, they can then address it prior to the expiration of 90 days.

Lastly, there is an expedite process that USCIS allows people to use in true emergencies.  This is not premium processing, as premium processing is not available for EAD applications.  It is a system whereby you file an application for expedite to USCIS stating the facts that give rise to the request and showing that you meet one of the listed reasons for expediting:  severe financial loss to the company or person; emergency situation; humanitarian reasons; nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States; Department of Defense or national interest; USCIS error; or compelling interest of the USCIS.  USCIS is very strict in applying this criteria and does not readily grant such requests.  In addition, we have seen cases where the amount of time it took USCIS to adjudicate the expedite request and to actually expedite the EAD, more time had passed than had they just let the process gone on normally.  So generally, if there is a reason to expedite, this should be included up front, and not sent in only as a last resort, as it may not actually end up expediting the process.

Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.


Author: Adam Frank, Esquire

I am an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience. I was graduated from Brandeis University undergrad in 1990 and then spent a year traveling around Central America. In 1991 I began attending the University of Baltimore School of Law and was graduated in 1994. I began working in Immigration Law in 1998 when I joined a small law firm and, in 2000 opened my own firm with my law partner Ed Leavy. Sadly, Ed passed away in 2011. I am still a partner in my own firm with my current partner Brendan Delaney. Our firm is Frank & Delaney Immigration Law, LLC.

29 thoughts on “Delay in having your EAD issued? You are not the only one.”

  1. One of friend has applied for EAD on 13th October 2015. As 90 days is finishing she tried calling but the officer is very rude and doesn’t provide any relevant information. There are very high chances she might loose her job. Is there any course of action for this ?

  2. My husband applied on 9/8/15 to recieve his EAD. This will be his second year getting it. It is now 1/20/16 and nothing. We sent in an inquiry and now it says inquiry completed but we heard nothing from them. We asked for it to be expedited due to financial lose and utilities being disconnected but it says expedite complete and they havent sent us a paper on the result or an email. It is frustrating. We call and they say exactly what the website says. We pay a lawyer alot of money and they put in inquiry but I try and call with no luck. It’s getting ro a point where we just dont know what to do. Any advice would be over appreciated

    1. A good idea is to contact your local House of Representatives or Senator member and have them contact USCIS to check on the case. They can usually get an update within 2 weeks and most times USCIS will give them more information.

  3. My EAD renewal application was received on 12/03/15, and as of today 03/25/16, it’s been 123 days of pending status. I sent an inquiry via email and called them multiple times. This is ridiculous. I have spent all my saving, I also sold almost everything to sustain myself. I don’t know what to do.

    1. Hi Alex ,
      Did you get any update for EAD . I also applied on 23-Nov-2016 and still no update and really frustrating .
      They are saying we have backlog but not giving clear explanation till when .

      1. I agree with you. There is no reason that they cannot adjudicate these application in a timely manner. However, their new rule allowing those with pending EAD renewals (in certain categories) to continue working for 180 days after the expiration of their current EAD, is a move in the correct direction. This should be extended to more EAD types, however.

  4. Hi ,
    My wife has applied for EAD on 23-Nov-2015 . We just received notification that case has been accepted but after that we tried calling customer care many time but no update is being given to us . We tried to expedite using Humanitarian ground but still no update . Please let me know if there is any way to expedite it . It is really frustrating for us . She has offer letter from one company in US but she can’t work as we still don’t have EAD .

    1. I think using your Senator’s office may be helpful in this situation to see what the issue is. You can do this on your own, or contact me directly for help. This method has proved helpful in many cases.

  5. I filed an application For an EAD as I am a flight attendant in December 2015. I’ve been approved and received an EAD as a flight Crew member for airline work only. My problem is, it was only granted for 15 days. Does this make any sense?

    1. It is hard to say if it makes sense because it would depend on what the application said and included. Sometimes a mistake in the application or the supporting documents can lead to this type of result. Sometimes it can be USCIS error. If you want us to review the application please contact me at my email address.

  6. I have applied L2 EAD renewal on 07-Apr-2016. My valid EAD is expired today. I called to USCIS on day 42 for expedited request based on financial loss and job loss. Contacted to local congressman on day 45.But no update received.What next step to save potential financial loss?

    1. USCIS usually will get back to you within 20-30 days of the request. Same with the Senator. You may want to wait to hear back. You do not want to try to many different methods of contact at the same time as it can cause confusion at USCIS. However, one thing you can do is call the 1-800 number to get an update on the expedite request. Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.

  7. i am asylum pending case, i had applied to renew my EAD card on ending of march and USCIS received the document by April 4th, by April 14th they transferred my application to Nebraska office , i raised two times claims that my application getting too long in process , their answer was that i am in the line , my EAD will finish by July 9th and all my cards as ID and car DL, i don’t know what can i do , i am going to lose my job, my life will not be able to manage , i requested appointment with local office and it will be after tomorrow , its trying from my side to get interim card or any document can hold my job, other wise i will be in financial crisis , kindly advice.

    1. Generally, USCIS has 90 days to approve a renewal. It sounds like they are saying they received your case on April 7. At this point the local office can at least let you know if it has been adjudicated, but as the new card should be issued in the next couple of days anyways, they may not be able to do anything. Visiting the local office at day 75 is the best way to alert them to an issue with processing.

  8. Hi I applied for working authorization on 02/30/2016 and now it’s 7/7/2016 and I still didn’t got nothing is anybody that can help me I need so bad cuz I just got a full time job before it expired and now they are asking me for that any help will be appricated thank you

  9. I need your help. What happens if usps guys misplaced my opt card, i dint even receive it , where they lost it somewhere. Should i have to reapply again i-765 or just place a e-request to USCIS after 30 days so that i can get another card.

  10. Need Help. I an F-1 student and my OPT application was received on Oct 31st, 2016. The card was sent to production on January 26th. Its been over a month since in production. I’ve made several attempts to understand whats happening but the officers were very rude and did not provide any information. Instead asked me to wait another 60 days. Please advise what to do.

    1. You should call the 1-800 number to see if the card was sent out and when. If it was sent out, also check to see if it was returned to USCIS. If it was not, then you may need to refile the I-765 application.

  11. I applied to renew my EAD last December. I got a receipt which indicated the case was received on Dec 20, 2016. Till now, I still have not seen any progress on my case. All I-765 cases around mine, prior to mine or later than mine, had been resolved. However, my case keeps “Case was received” status for about 100 days.

    The first time I called Customer Service to try to expedite the case, however it was rejected with reason “no proof”. On 83 days, I called Customer Service again and they provided me an inquiry number, then, no any update. On 90 days, I went to local USCIS and the officer submitted an internal ticket to USCIS. 10 days later, no update.

    I am really frustrated. I heard that it may help if we contact local senators. However, I am really new to U.S. I do not know how to find local senator’s information.

    Any suggestion would be helpful!

    1. I sent a mail to CISOmbudsman yesterday. Today my case status changed to “Request for Additional Evidence”, I am really confused, I don’t think there is any evidence missing in my mailed documentations. Is that a normal condition or anyone else ever faced to this scenario before?

      1. Did you receive the RFE as of yet? Unfortunately USCIS is really far behind on these things. One thing to remember if you are renewing your EAD (in certain categories) you can work for a certain period of time after your current EAD expires and until the new one is approved. If you email me the category you filed in I can tell you if the new rule applies.

  12. Hello, I have applied for EAD/AP with AOS (I485) in Nov 2016, USCIS acknowledged the receipt of the cases on 17th Nov 2016. My wife and kids got their EAD/AP cards in Feb 2017, but its going to be almost 5 months in few days but no news of my EAD/AP. The case status still shows as “Case Was Received”. I had opened a case with USCIS about a month back but got their standard response that its being processed but they don’t have definitive timeframe. Please advise if I should open another request or contact congressmen for help. But my attorney says its not going to help and advises me to keep waiting. Please advise if I should just keep waiting for it or proceed with congressmen help/infopass appointment.

  13. Thank you, Adam.
    I received the RFE on Apr 3 which required my spouse’s I-94, our marriage and translation. I provided it the very night and mailed it via the fastest Express. They received the evidence the next day (Apr 5). However, seems everything stuck again.
    No any update till now.
    I checked their website and unfortunately my category is A18, which is not in lucky list.
    I also tried to submit DHS 7001 on line to seek for case assistance, however, I did not get any confirmation mail as it supposed to be.
    I am really frustrated. Any suggestion?

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