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The Biden administration announced the extension of work permits for a series of categories of immigrants, allowing for them to continue working for a period of between 180 and 540 days.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services published a temporary final rule automatically extending the validity of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) throughout the mentioned period. The announcement came before the April 24 deadline, when many would start losing their authorizations.

The two largest groups impacted by the decision are asylum-seekers and foreigners who are in the process of changing their status to permanent residency, The Hill reported.

"Over the last year, the USCIS workforce reduced processing times for most EAD categories, supporting an overall goal to improve work access to eligible individuals," USCIS Director Ur Jaddou said. "However, we also received a record number of employment authorization applications, impacting our renewal mechanisms."

"Temporarily lengthening the existing automatic extension up to 540 days will avoid lapses in employment authorizations," Jaddou added. "At the same time, this rule provides DHS with an additional window to consider long-term solutions by soliciting public comments, and identifying new strategies to ensure those noncitizens eligible for employment authorization can maintain that benefit."

A spokesperson for the agency claimed that up to 800,000 immigrants were at risk of losing their permits without the new rule. It's the second time the Biden administration makes such a decision, the first one taking place in 2022 and extending over 180 days. The government has been increasing the extensions' magnitude, granting five-year EADs to eligible immigrants.

The rule will go into effect on April 8, and active extensions granted for 180 days in 2022 will retroactively be converted to 540-day ones. Employers, as well as employees, had been on their toes about the approaching deadline, as they faced the potential cost of removing workers from payrolls, among other disruptions.

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