These recommendations focus on delays due to processing and adjudications issues of Employment Authorization Document (EAD) applications. While USCIS has implemented procedures to resolve certain issues, many problem areas have not been addressed. When processing is delayed, individuals and employers experience significant adverse consequences such as job loss and disruption in business operations. Supporting feedback from the public, the Ombudsman recommends specific action that USCIS can take to improve the EAD process.
On July 11, 2011, the Ombudsman's Office recommends that USCIS take the following actions to improve the processing of employment authorization documents (EAD):
- Establish methods at local offices to facilitate immediate resolution;
- Establish a uniform processing time goal of 45 days for adjudication and 60 days for issuance of an EAD;
- Improve monitoring and ensure real-time visibility through an automated system for tracking processing times;
- Follow established internal procedures for issuing interim EADs in cases where background checks are pending; and
- Issue replacement EADs with validity dates beginning on the date the old EAD expires.
In the recommendation, the Ombudsman identifies several ways to implement these recommendations that build upon existing USCIS processes.
Read the USCIS Response issued on April 17, 2012.