The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, recently announced the redesignation and extension of TPS status for Cameroon. This extension will provide eligible individuals with protection from deportation and work authorization. Furthermore, it will allow these individuals to qualify for TPS status for another 18 months, from December 8, 2023, through June 7, 2025.
Those seeking initial TPS status and work authorization may apply anytime until June 7, 2025. They must file an Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) and an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). If granted, the USCIS will provide the individual TPS status through June 7, 2025, and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) valid through the same period.
Individuals seeking to extend their TPS status and employment authorization should take action within the reregistration period. It runs from October 10, 2023, through December 11, 2023. Those with EADs under Cameroon’s TPS designation will see automatic extensions for their expiration dates by the Department of Homeland Security. These EADs would have expired on December 11, 2023, but the expiration date extension would prevent gaps in employment eligibility.
This extension will allow TPS holders to use their facially expired EADs through December 7, 2024, to prove work authorization. For employers, the automatic extension means that a reverification is not necessary. However, EADs automatically extended under the Federal Register notice may require reverification.
It may prove necessary to re-examine current EADs when copies of an employee’s TPS-related EAD are not on file. Employers can check the EAD to see if it contains the Category A-12 or C-19 category codes and a “Card Expires” date of December 7, 2023. These codes and expiration date means the EAD is updated. As such, they should enter “EAD EXT” and “December 7, 2024” for the end date of the extension into the Additional Information field in Section 2. Then, initial and date the correction to complete the update.
Processing an initial verification for an automatically extended EAD is the same as other EADs. The employee will enter their information, including the USCIS number or A-Number and the December 7, 2024 expiration date. Employers will use the above procedure to ensure the EAD is auto-extended. They can also enter the document details and extended expiration date with this information. Employers must verify the worker’s employment authorization before starting work on December 8, 2024.
Employers should also consider utilizing an electronic I-9 management system to help them comply with employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) requirements. With continuously changing conditions and complex documentation, an electronic system can help ensure uniform and accurate completion for every form. It can also provide reminders when action is required to help keep employers compliant.
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