The processing time for USCIS to adjudicate and issue an employment authorization document (EAD) or an advance parole (AP) has increased in recent years. While the process has historically taken USCIS 3 to 4 months, both the EAD processing time in 2021 and the AP processing time in 2021 started taking as much as 9 plus months. These changes have made it critical that individuals and organizations applying for these employment authorization and travel documents know when and how to submit an emergency advance parole or EAD expedite request.

Adjusting your USCIS expedited processing time expectations

Even the USCIS expedited processing request time has begun to increase. It now takes several weeks for an EAD application or an AP application to be approved. Waiting over a month for an expedited processing on an interim document is an enormous burden for applicants.

Additionally, in situations where the applicant must be fingerprinted, neither an advance parole or an EAD expedite request will be considered by USCIS until after the applicant‘s fingerprints have been captured. This additional level of processing can make it extremely difficult to complete the process in a timely manner for first time applicants.

Planning ahead: When to submit an advance parole or EAD application

It has become critical to plan ahead to prevent either AP application or EAD application delays from impacting your employment or international travel plans. You may file for an extension to either document as far out as 180 days prior to their expiration. Be sure to apply for your interim benefits extension at the very start of this six month window.

If this is your first application with the USCIS for either document, allow for several months of processing, while taking into account the additional international travel restrictions that are currently in place.

When can an advance parole or EAD expedite request be made?

USCIS will only grant an advance parole or EAD expedite request under very specific circumstances:

  1. Will there be severe financial loss to the company or applicant? The need for urgent action cannot be the result of the applicant’s failure to either:
    • file the benefit request on time, or
    • respond to requests for additional evidence on time.
  2. Is there an emergency or urgent humanitarian reason?
  3. Is the request coming from a nonprofit organization working in furtherance of either the cultural or social interests of the United States?
  4. Does the request benefit other U.S. government interests, governmental entities, or national security?
  5. Was there a clear error by USCIS?
  6. Is the application by a healthcare worker with a pending EAD renewal?

Which expedited processing criteria are most likely to receive an advance parole application or EAD application approvals?

USCIS is more likely to grant requests for expedited processing to school districts or federal government agencies. They are less likely to grant requests based on financial loss or humanitarian reasons. Nonprofit organizations are more likely to have their requests granted, if they have a clear and valuable public mission.

The reason for an expedite request of an AP application or EAD application must be explained clearly and supported with documentation. Even the most compelling circumstances can sometimes not result in USCIS granting expedited processing. If there is a viable alternative to expediting the application or if an organization is making requests too frequently, USCIS is less likely to grant their expedited application requests.

Is Premium Processing available for advance parole or EAD?

Unfortunately, Premium Processing is not available for EAD or AP processing.

Let us help guide your emergency advance parole or EAD expedite request to a successful conclusion.

If you have questions about expediting your advance parole or EAD application, we hope you will reach out to The Batrakova Law Office so we can help guide you through this process.