USCIS To Expedite Work Permits For Healthcare Workers

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will consider requests to expedite EAD applications for healthcare workers. This follows the huge backlog the government agency is dealing with, partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. So if you’re a healthcare worker in need of a work permit renewal or application, here’s everything you need to know about this latest development. 

EAD Processing Time 2022 Explained 

According to a report from the USCIS, the average processing time for an EAD card (Work Permit) in 2022 is around 6.1 months. However, if you’re applying based on an approved, concurrently filed I-821D (Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ( c ) (33), the estimated EAD processing time in 2022 is 1.1 months. 

Who Can Submit Request to Expedite EAD?

If you’re a qualifying healthcare worker, you can request expedited processing for your work permit if you have:

  • a pending EAD renewal application filed via Form I-765; 
  • an EAD that expires within 30 days or less; or
  • an EAD that has already expired. 

Who Is a Qualifying Healthcare Worker for Work Permit Renewal or Processing?

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) defines healthcare workers broadly. For example, in addition to individuals who provide direct patient care, the DHS further describes healthcare workers as:

  • workers who provide critical clinical, biomedical, and other research, development, and testing for COVID-19 or other diseases;
  • workers who provide effective clinical, support services, infrastructure, administrative operations, and other functions across the patient care, healthcare, or public health field; 
  • home health workers, laboratory, and pharmacy staff;
  • workers who provide food and laundry services, including reprocessing of medical equipment and waste management;
  • workers in charge of managing health plans, billing, health information, and can’t work remotely;
  • workers who work at biotechnology companies, including distributors of medical equipment, products, and pharmaceuticals. 

How to Contact USCIS for Work Permit Processing

The USCIS has provided a guideline for submitting an EAD expedite request. However, the government agency does not specify how long it would take to process the requests. 

How to Check EAD Status

To check EAD status, head over to the USCIS Case Status Online Tool and enter your receipt number. Then, click on Check Status to check EAD status online. 

Where to Find EAD Receipt Number

The receipt number for your EAD card is a 13-character identifier the USCIS provides in the confirmation receipt after you file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. The receipt usually begins with three letters. For instance, WAC, EAC, SRC, LIN, NBC, IOE, or MSC, followed by 10 numbers. 

Remember to remove dashes when entering a receipt number online, including all other characters.

H4 EAD Processing Time 2022 Explained 

The EAD processing time for an H4 spouse of an H1B nonimmigrant (filed with I-539 H4) is between 8 months to 13.5 months. 

On the other hand, the EAD processing time for an H4 spouse of an H1B nonimmigrant not filed with I-539 H4 is 8 months to 11.5 months. 

EAD 180-day Extension Expired: What Next?

If your EAD 180-day extension has expired, you don’t need to panic. Instead, contact an experienced immigration attorney like Serah Waweru to review your EAD status and advice you on the way forward. 

What’s EAD Renewal Processing Time? 

If you have submitted your application for EAD renewal, the processing time will depend on various factors. For example, as mentioned before, the USCIS is now prioritizing EAD renewals for healthcare workers. For best results, talk to an immigration attorney like Serah Waweru and her team to establish the way forward with your EAD renewal application. 

How to File for H4 EAD Premium Processing?

The procedure to file for H4 EAD premium processing depends on the exact eligibility category. You may use this to request faster processing for the following forms:

However, to ensure that your petition is filed correctly and with the appropriate form or department, it’s always advisable to contact an immigration attorney

How an Immigration Attorney Can Help With Your EAD Renewal Application 

Whether you’re applying for an EAD renewal or you’re a first-time applicant, speaking to an experienced immigration attorney like Serah Waweru can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. 

Here’s why. 

The USCIS updates its policies almost every month, and what used to work last year may not work this year. For example, using the wrong form to file your application will lead to rejection and more frustration, especially if you don’t have a source of income. 

An experienced immigration attorney can help you with your application, ensuring that you don’t miss any important information or use the wrong documents to file your petition. Additionally, failure to attach certain documents can also lead to the rejection of your application.

Similarly, given that USCIS policies change frequently, it may be difficult to keep up with the new rules. But that’s not something you need to worry about when involving an immigration attorney in your application. 

Such an attorney crosschecks your application, ensuring it meets all USCIS requirements, and then submits it on your behalf. And, if there’s a need to contact the USCIS, you don’t have to worry about spending hours on the phone or days checking your emails; an immigration attorney will take care of this, and so much more, on your behalf. 

Contact The Office of Serah Waweru, PLLC

The Law Office of Serah Waweru is based in Tacoma, Washington, serving clients locally, nationally, and even internationally. As an immigrant-owned and managed law firm, we understand the challenges immigrants face in their day-to-day lives, and that’s why we’re here to help. 

Get in touch with us anytime you need help with your EAD renewal or application, including any immigration questions or concerns. Our office is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 

Call us today at 253-332-9193 to schedule an appointment with attorney Serah Waweru or send us a message online, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible! 


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