Immigration Lawyer Ari Sauer – The Immigration Answer Man

Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.

Can a work authorization card (EAD) holder start a new job after their EAD expires but within the 180-day extension of work authorization while their I-765 is pending?


QUESTION: I am in L-1A visa status and applied for extension. We also applied for an extension of my wife’s L-2 visa status and her work authorization (EAD). Her EAD has expired but we received the receipt notice for the EAD extension. She has an offer to start working with a new employer. Can she start the new job now and work for up to 180 days while her application is pending?


THE IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN: Sometimes someone who has a pending Form I-765 application to extend/renew their Employment Authorization Document (EAD)(also known as a work authorization card) will receive an automatic extension 180-day extension of their work authorization beyond the expiration date on their EAD. For those that are eligible for the 180-day extension of work authorization, they can even begin employment with a new employer during the 180-day extension period of their work authorization while their I-765 application is pending. They would show the employer their expired EAD and the Receipt Notice for the I-765 application as proof of their work authorization during the 180-day extension period. If the employer does not know how to complete the Form I-9 in that situation, the employer can refer to the Form M-274 Handbook for Employers which is on the USCIS website, which provides specific instructions for this situation.

However, the work authorization is only automatically extended for 180-days for those who are filing for a renewal of their EAD in certain categories (see the instructions to the Form I-765 for a full list of EAD categories). Also, the 180-day extension is not available for those who are applying for a new EAD based on a different category from the EAD that they have. Finally, the Form I-765 application requesting the renewal of the EAD must be filed prior to the expiration date on the EAD that they have (this is not always true for someone applying to extend their EAD based on having TPS).

Unfortunately, someone who is applying for a renewal of their EAD based upon being an L-2 spouse of an L-1 intracompany transferee nonimmigrant [which is EAD category (a)(18)] is not eligible to receive the automatic 180-day extension of employment authorization. So, your wife will not be able to begin employment with the new employer until she receives her new EAD.

As of the writing of this article (April 24, 2019), this is the list of EAD categories that automatically receive a 180-day extension of work authorization while the I-765 for EAD renewal is pending.

(a)(3) Refugee
(a)(5) Asylee
(a)(7) N-8 or N-9
(a)(8) Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau
(a)(10) Withholding of Deportation or Removal Granted
(a)(12) Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Granted
(c)(8) Asylum Application Pending
(c)(9) Pending Adjustment of Status under Section 245 of the Act
(c)(10) Suspension of Deportation Applicants (filed before April 1, 1997)
Cancellation of Removal Applicants
Special Rule Cancellation of Removal Applicants Under NACARA
(c)(16) Creation of Record (Adjustment Based on Continuous Residence Since January 1, 1972)
(c)(19) Pending initial application for TPS where USCIS determines applicant is prima facie eligible for TPS and can receive an EAD as a “temporary treatment benefit”
(c)(20) Section 210 Legalization (pending I-700)
(c)(22) Section 245A Legalization (pending I-687)
(c)(24) LIFE Legalization
(c)(31) VAWA Self-Petitioners


Published 4/25/19 by attorney Ari Sauer.

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Submit questions to Ari Sauer – The Immigration Answer Man by emailing your question to Questions submitted by email may be posted on this site, without personal information, unless the email specifically requests that we not use the question for this site. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions submitted will be answered. Only general questions can be answered on this blog. For answers to specific questions about your situation, please schedule a consultation appointment with attorney Ari Sauer. Sending in a question by email or any other means does not create an attorney-client relationship. * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is an attorney with the Siskind Susser law firm. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing, and the rules stated may not be current or apply to your particular situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer rather than relying on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. the opinions expressed here are those of Ari Sauer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Siskind Susser.


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