USCIS's press release informed the stakeholders that the Service will start issuing 2 year cards sometime this year. No clear policy in which cases they would do that and in which not. Clearly, they found your case warranting such extended validity card.
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USCIS is issuing 2-yer EADs now.
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USCIS just recently changed their process to issue two year EADs. They did this because many applications were taking longer than one year to complete.
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