There was a huge surge in green card applications in the summer of 2007 and the government issued 1 year EAD cards that are expiring now.
As a result, the government now has over 230,000 new and renewal EAD applications pending and has fallen behind in the issuance of EAD cards.
EAD applicants have to know that:
1. Processing of new EAD cards will likely take over 90 days
2. At this time, interim EAD cards may be delayed even if the application has been pending more than 90 days.
3. Applicants still cannot apply for EAD card renewal more than 4 months before the EAD card expires
4. Applicants are not permitted to work after the old EAD card expires and before a new EAD card is issued. If they continue to work they would be working without authorization. The government might refuse to approve the adjustment of status application.
This makes a very bad situation for the applicants, but there is not much that we can do other than make an appointment for the applicant at the local office to try to get an interim EAD card once the application has been pending more than 90 days.
Calling USCIS has not been much help, by the way. Applicants are finding they get a different answer each time they call.
My advice if you have an EAD card and need to renew it is to apply as early as possible–four months before the expiration date.