New York: Indian American community leader Ajay Bhutoria welcomed the recent change in policy by USCIS allowing recently expired or soon to expire work permits (EAD) to continue working on those documents for up to a year and a half after they expire.
The policy, which will take effect beginning Wednesday, is meant to address the unprecedented backlog of 1.5 million work-permit applications at the nation’s legal immigration agency, leaving tens of thousands unable to work legally and exacerbating labor shortages.
The change will immediately help about 87,000 immigrants whose work authorization has lapsed or is set to in the next 30 days. Overall, the government estimates that as many as 420,000 immigrants renewing work permits will be protected from losing their ability to work for the duration of the policy.
Bhutoria said this is great news for employers as most companies are facing staffing issues and now will be able to keep their eligible employees as this policy change allows employers to continue their workers keep the employment and eligible immigrants to work on expired documents for up to 540 days, rather than 180. That means even the tens of thousands of people past their 180-day window have as much as another year of work authorization as of Wednesday.
This is the right step in the direction of reducing the visa processing backlog.