Two-year Employment Authorization Documents to Be Issued to Certain Adjustment of Status Applicants
Published June 19, 2008

Particular classes of immigrants are eligible to apply for employment authorization, including certain asylum applicants, persons in student status who will work in their field of training, and persons who have applied (with Form I-485) to adjust their status to that of a permanent resident.

Beginning at the end of this month, applicants who applied for adjustment of status when visas were available to them but who have since seen visa availability retrogress in their categories may be granted employment authorization documents (EAD) valid for two years. Generally, an adjustment of status applicant is only granted an EAD valid for one year and can renew the EAD annually while the adjustment application is pending. If a visa number is currently available to an adjustment applicant, and the adjudication of his/her green card application is pending due to typical CIS processing and background check timeframes, he/she will still only be issued a 1 year EAD. However, if a person who has already applied for adjustment no longer has a visa number available, they may receive a two-year EAD when they apply to renew. This new rule will mostly benefit employment-based adjustment applicants who have experience visa retrogression. However, it could in theory also benefit family-based applicants, as retrogression can occur in those categories as well.

In order for an adjustment of status applicant to determine whether visas are available in his/her category, review the Department of State’s monthly visa bulletin at

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