Until recently, individuals who applied for work and travel permits, known as Employment Authorization Documents (or EADs) and Advance Parole, along with their I-485 adjustment applications received one- or two-year approval periods. Although there is no separate filing fee, the relatively short validity approval period and long processing times frequently meant that as soon as the documents were approved it was time to submit renewal applications. This led to a frustrating and anxiety-provoking cycle for those who needed EADs to continue working.

USCIS updated its policy manual to make the maximum validity period five years for not only adjustment applicants (persons applying for green cards who request work and travel permits while awaiting their green cards) but also for refugees, asylees, and persons who deportation cases have been put on hold. The stated goal is to reduce the number of renewal applications and thereby allow USCIS to improve its processing times. This is yet another welcome development as part of the Biden Administration’s initiative to improve the existing immigration system while waiting on Congress to overhaul outdated laws.