A federal court has issued a temporary restraining order against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for delays in printing employment authorization documents (EADs).

Key points:

  • The temporary order requires USCIS to print EADs within seven days for applicants whose EAD applications have been approved but who have not received their cards.
  • The court said that even though USCIS is not bound by a specific timeline for printing EADs, the agency does not have “unfettered discretion to issue EADs at any time they wish.”
  • The order is in effect until the court’s hearing on whether to issue a preliminary injunction on Monday, Aug. 10.

Background: The lawsuit was brought by several applicants who have waited months without receiving their EAD cards following approval of their applications, alleging they will lose their jobs and health insurance, and be unable to find work or support their families without proof of employment authorization. The USCIS Ombudsman recently acknowledged delays in printing EADs, as well as green cards, because USCIS ended a contract with the company that printed them.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2020 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@bal.com.