As part of the permanent residency process, applicants apply for employment authorization and permission to travel outside of the United States. When approved, applicants have historically received one “combination card” that includes both their employment authorization (EAD) and advance parole (AP) travel permission. In the aftermath of COVID, USCIS processing times for EAD/AP combo cards has slowed significantly, and many applicants for permanent residence have been finding themselves without employment authorization as they wait for USCIS to adjudicate their combo card. In effort to speed up processing times for EADs and try to prevent this gap in employment authorization, USCIS has begun to issue EADs without the requested AP benefit; basically decoupling the combination card. Immigration attorneys and applicants for permanent residence are just now seeing these decoupled benefits being issued, as many people are receiving their EAD, but not their AP travel permission. In most cases, the AP is being approved several weeks to several months later. Any adjustment of status applicants waiting for a pending EAD/AP card should take note that once approved, the EAD may not also include AP travel permission. For more information, reach out to one of our attorneys for a consultation.