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U.S. panel debates giving EADs to people who have been waiting longer than five years for green cards.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has held discussions on the possibility of issuing Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to people who have been waiting for a green card for more than five years. The panel discussed the possibility of granting temporary work permits to those individuals who have been waiting in the green card backlog for an extended period of time, in order to alleviate some of their financial and other hardships. The panel also discussed expanding the list of categories of people who could receive EADs.

The panel’s discussion follows a USCIS announcement in April 2020 that the agency would begin granting EADs to certain people who had been waiting for their green cards for more than five years. USCIS issued the announcement in response to the economic hardships caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The panel was formed to evaluate the feasibility of allowing more people to be eligible for EADs.

Any decision by USCIS on expanding the list of people who are eligible for EADs is pending the panel’s report. USCIS is expected to announce a decision on the matter in the near future.