Effective May 4, 2022, a USCIS temporary final rule will increase the auto-extension period that certain EAD renewal applicants receive from 180 days to 540 days. This rule was created to help USCIS progress through its backlog of cases while attempting to ensure EAD applicants do not lose their employment or driver’s license eligibility while they wait for extended periods of time, typically beyond the previous 180-day extension period.
For those with an EAD in the qualifying category that has already expired, and a timely renewal filing was made, the EAD will be considered valid for a maximum of 540 days STARTING May 4, 2022. USCIS has stated employers may accept the I-797C as proof of employment authorization so long as the employee is within the 540-day period.
It is worth noting, this rule is currently effective until October 26, 2023.