The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced how it would address the documentation of status for certain asylees and lawful permanent residents. In specific cases, the USCIS will create and issue these documents upon notification that an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has granted the status. This automatic issuance allows workers and employers to complete the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) process with fewer delays.
This policy will allow the USCIS to provide documentation by mail rather than require lawful permanent residents and asylees to schedule and attend in-person appointments. However, it still requires notification of the change in status by an immigration judge or the BIA. In addition, the USCIS encourages interested individuals to contact the USCIS Contact Center to request documentation. This recommendation is in case the USCIS has not received notification of the decision from either authority.
In August 2022, USCIS started allocating Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Records with asylee stamps to individuals granted asylum. They also began issuing green cards to those who adjusted their status to lawful permanent residents. These documents are critical for these individuals to receive their entitled benefits, such as employment and housing.
A lawful permanent resident card (also known as a green card) is a List A document for permanent residents that does not require re-verification, regardless of the expiration date. Individuals granted lawful permanent resident status are not obligated to use this documentation for Form I-9s. However, many found that it makes the most convenient option, primarily when provided by USCIS.
Refugees and asylees may use their Form I-94 for employment eligibility verification. For refugees, an I-94 is a List A document and remains valid for 90 days starting from the first day of work. After 90 days, an employee must reverify the worker’s documentation. They may provide an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or a combination of a List B document and an unrestricted Social Security Card.
Aslyees may use Form I-94 as a List C document. In this case, it does not expire when combined with a List B document of their choice. Both asylees and refugees qualify for EADs. As such, they may use an expired EAD for Form I-9 for up to 540 days. However, it only qualifies with an I-797 receipt notice showing they filed a renewal.
For employers, these regulations and constant changes can quickly become difficult to follow. The best way to ensure continued compliance is to use an electronic I-9 management tool. This tool can provide step-by-step guidance and ensure uniform completion of each and every Form I-9.
When it comes to your employees, automation makes eligibility verification quick and simple. Ensure compliance today with I-9 Compliance.