The Ombudsman noted specific issues resulting from shortcomings with the current EAD process, citing, "The consequences of USCIS delays in adjudicating EAD applications are significant: applicants experience financial hardship due to job interruption and termination; business operations stall due to loss of employee services; families face suspension of health benefits; and individuals have difficulty renewing drivers' licenses. The effect of these delays is aggravated by USCIS' decision to avoid issuing interim documents and the lack of a fast, easily accessible method for resolving EAD-related problems." In an attempt to mitigate the adverse impact on individuals and employers and improve the EAD process, The Ombudsman recommended to USCIS the following:
Establishing methods at local offices to facilitate immediate resolution;
Establishing a uniform processing time goal of 45 days for adjudication and 60 days for issuance of an EAD;
Improving monitoring and ensuring real-time visibility through an automated system for tracking processing times;
Following established internal procedures for issuing interim EADs in cases where background checks are pending;
Issuing replacement EADs with validity dates beginning on the date the old EAD expires. Read the Ombudsman's full report, including EAD process improvement recommendations, existing USCIS best practices and procedures, and suggested ways to implement the recommended improvement measures. Click here to read.