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Asylees and Refugees

Every year, people seek protection in the United States because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution in their own country because of:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Political opinion

Completing Form I-9

Section 1

Refugees and asylees are authorized to work because of their immigration status. When completing Form I-9, refugees or asylees should:

  • Check “An alien authorized to work”
  • Write the I-94 or Alien Registration Number in the first space
  • Write “N/A” in the second space, because their employment authorization does not expire

Section 2

Just as in the case of any employee, a refugee or asylee may choose to present any applicable document from the Lists of Acceptable Documents.  DHS issues refugees and asylees Forms I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) that evidences their status and employment authorization (since they are employment authorized incident to status) as well as Forms I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  The Form I-766 is acceptable as a List A document.  Following is guidance on completing Form I-9 if presented with Form I-94.

Completing Section 2 for a Refugee Presenting Form I-94

If a refugee presents the departure portion of a Form I-94 containing an unexpired refugee admission stamp, the employer must accept it as a receipt establishing both employment authorization and identity for 90 days. At the end of this 90-day period, the employee must show the employer either an EAD or a combination of a List B document and an unrestricted social security card.

Completing Section 2 for an Asylee Presenting a Form I-94

An asylee may present Form I-94 or Form I-94A with one of the stamps or notations below indicating asylee status:

This document is a List C document and, unlike other Forms I-94, usually does not contain an expiration date. The asylee will need to present a List B identity document with this Form I-94.

Decisions from immigration judges granting asylum are not acceptable List C documents as they are not documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 05/13/2011