Ensuring Work Authorization When Facing Possible Gap between TN Visa Status and EAD Approval.

Question: I am a Canadian citizen currently working as an Economist. My TN Visa expires in November 2007. The DOL has approved my wife’s Labor Certification and we will be filing for the I-140, I-485s, and EAD / Advance Parole documents soon. Do you think that I will obtain my EAD before my current TN expires in November? If not, what do you suggest I do?

Answer: As of September 2006, USCIS has implemented new policies for the adjudication of Form I-765 EAD applications. Local USCIS Offices no longer accept or adjudicate I-765s for Interim EADs. These applications must now be sent to the appropriate USCIS Service Center or Lockbox indicated on the new I-765 form instructions.

The Service Centers and the National Benefits Center (NBC) are supposed to conduct daily sweeps for any I-765 forms still pending at their facilities by Day 60. Once identified, the Service Center or NBC must adjudicate the application prior to Day 70 in order for the EAD to be received by the applicant prior to Day 90. If you haven’t received your EAD by day 70, you should be able to make an InfoPass appointment at your local USCIS field office via the USCIS website to find out why your application was delayed and help complete the application process. Schedule InfoPass appointment. If the case is approved and biometrics completed, the EAD card should go into production and you should receive the card within 10 to 14 days.

I would not try to renew your TN at the border after the AOS applications have been filed. Filing an AOS application is a significant sign of immigrant intent and can warrant denial of a TN. Furthermore, for TN Visa Professionals, departure from the U.S. while an AOS application is pending will render the AOS application abandoned. You should not work if your TN expires prior to your receipt of your EAD. This unauthorized employment may be considered a ground for denying the employment-based AOS application.