The Ombudsman for USCIS recently made recommendations focused on delays due to processing and adjudications issues of employment authorization document (EAD) applications. The Ombudsman noted that although USCIS has implemented procedures to resolve certain issues, many problem areas have not been addressed. When processing is delayed, the Ombudsman noted, “individuals and employers experience significant adverse consequences such as job loss and disruption in business operations.” The Ombudsman recommends specific actions that USCIS can take to improve the EAD process, including:
- 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; and
- Issuing replacement EADs with validity dates beginning on the date the old EAD expires.