No More EAD Delays for New Refugees

USCIS has announced a new process that will allow eligible refugees to receive an EAD in approximately 30 days from their arrival as opposed to the several months it has taken in the past. Under U.S. law, a refugee is legally authorized to work as soon as they arrive in the United States. Obtaining proof of this work authorization in the form of an EAD, however, was previously a difficult paper-based process that led to undue delays. The new process is fully automated and no longer requires refugees to send in paper applications for an EAD, allowing for more efficient processing and adjudication of Form I-765 and quicker delivery of EADs after they approve them.

How will this process work? USCIS will electronically create a Form I-765 for arriving refugees and begin adjudicating it as soon as they are admitted into the United States. When USCIS approves the form, the refugees will typically receive their physical EAD within one to two weeks after approval. They will send the EAD to their address of record, they claim the delivery times may vary so allow a total of 30 days to pass after approval before submitting a service request/inquiry about your document. While the EAD form is being produced, USCIS will also send the appropriate information to the Social Security Administration to assign a Social Security Number to the refugees and mail out their physical cards.

Who does this apply to? All individuals admitted into the United States as refugees on or after December 10, 2023, will receive EADs in accordance with this new process. USCIS has clarified that this process does not apply to following-to join refugees admitted into the United States based on an approved Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition or to refugees seeking a replacement or renewal EAD (they will still need to complete and submit Form I-765).”

While this new portion of the immigration process will be automated and streamlined for most refugees, it is still important to have an attorney who can assist you in navigating the entire refugee immigration process. If you have questions regarding the new I-765 process for newly admitted refugees, give our office a call to speak with an attorney or send us an email at [email protected]

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