SUMMARY: This interim rule amends Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) regulations governing issuance of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). Through this rule, BCIS will now establish EAD validity periods based on certain criteria, including:
The applicant's immigration status;
general processing time for the underlying application or petition;
required background checks and response times for background checks by other agencies, as necessary;
other security considerations and factors as deemed appropriate by BCIS.
BCIS will have discretion to modify EAD validity periods both for
initial, renewal, and replacement cards. BCIS also will be able to establish EAD validity periods for classes of aliens and for
individuals within those classes whose cases warrant a lesser validity period. The rule also removes current regulatory language limiting EAD validity periods to one-year increments for certain classes of aliens who are required to apply for employment authorization. Finally, the rule amends BCIS regulations to reflect that BCIS will issue EADs to aliens granted asylum by the Department of Justice, Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), with validity periods of up to five years, unless otherwise appropriate.

DATES: Effective date: This rule is effective July 30, 2004.