Processing times for employment authorization documents (EAD) can exceed 8 to 12 months, even for renewals. On December 28, 2021, the USCIS announced that certain healthcare workers who have a pending EAD renewal application (Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization) are eligible for expedited processing. To qualify for expedited processing,the applicant must be an essential healthcare worker as described in DHS Essential Worker Guidelines and hold an EAD that will expire in the next 30 days at the time of the expedited processing request.
Examples of healthcare workers who may be eligible include, but are not limited to::
- Workers, including laboratory personnel, those who perform critical clinical, biomedical and other research, development, and testing needed for COVID-19 or other diseases.
- Healthcare providers including, but not limited to, physicians (MD/DO/DPM); dentists; psychologists; mid level practitioners; nurses; emergency medical services personnel, assistants and aids; infection control and quality assurance personnel; phlebotomists; pharmacists; physical, respiratory, speech and occupational therapists and assistants; social workers; optometrists; speech pathologists; chiropractors; diagnostic and therapeutic technicians; and radiology technologists.
- Home health workers (e.g., nursing, respiratory therapists, health aides) who need to go into the homes of individuals with chronic, complex conditions and/or disabilities to deliver nursing and/or daily living care.
To apply, healthcare workers must provide documentation to prove their employment or occupation. DHS may not be able to approve all expedited requests. Expedited processing is also available to anyone who meets the general criteria found on the USCIS website. Individuals can request expedited processing by calling USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283.
Resources: DHS Essential Worker Guidelines
This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances. For assistance in managing your EAD and work authorization, you are invited to call us at 214-494-8033 or complete our contact form.