7.3 Refugees and Asylees

7.3 Refugees and Asylees

Refugees and asylees are authorized to work because of their immigration status. When completing Form I-9, the refugee or asylee should indicate “alien authorized to work” in Section 1 of Form I-9. Since refugees and asylees are authorized to work indefinitely because of their immigration status, a refugee or asylee should enter “N/A” on the expiration date line in Section 1.

Many refugees and asylees may choose to present an unexpired EAD (Employment Authorization Document, Form I-766). However, neither refugees nor asylees are required to present an EAD to meet Form I-9 requirements. They may present other acceptable documents for Form I-9, such as Form I-94/Form I-94A indicating refugee or asylee status. They may also present List B and List C combinations, such as a state-issued driver’s license and an unrestricted Social Security card.

In addition, refugees and asylees may present an expired EAD with Form I-797C Notice of Action from USCIS for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization if Form I-797C lists the same employment authorization category as the expired EAD. This combination is considered an unexpired employment authorization and identity document (List A) and is valid for up to 180 days after the “card expires” date on the face of the EAD.

See Section 4.2 Automatic Extensions of Employment Authorization Documents in Certain Circumstances for more information about eligible categories and Form I-9 completion instructions for an employee who is a beneficiary of an employment authorization document auto-extension.

Note: The Social Security Administration issues unrestricted Social Security cards to refugees and asylees. These are List C documents for Form I-9 purposes and are not subject to reverification. Application procedures for Social Security cards can be found on the Social Security Administration’s site at ssa .gov.

Refugees

Upon admission to the United States, DHS provides refugees with electronic or paper Forms I-94 Arrival-Departure Record) that proves their status and employment authorization. The departure portion of a Form I-94 containing an unexpired refugee admission stamp or a Form I-94 computer-generated printout with an admission class of “RE” is an acceptable receipt establishing both employment authorization and identity for 90 days. During this time USCIS should be processing an EAD for the refugee.

At the end of the 90-day receipt period, the refugee must present either an EAD or a document from List B, such as a state-issued driver’s license, with a document from List C, such as an unrestricted Social Security card.

Refugees may also present an expired EAD in combination with an I-797C Notice of Action from USCIS indicating timely filing of the renewal application for an EAD (provided the I-797C indicates the same employment authorization category as the expired employment authorization document). This combination is considered an unexpired employment authorization and identity document (List A) and is valid for up to 180 days after the “card expires” date on the face of the EAD.

See Section 4.2 Automatic Extensions of Employment Authorization Documents in Certain Circumstances for more information about eligible categories and Form I-9 completion instructions for an employee who is a beneficiary of a 180-day employment authorization document auto-extension.

Asylees

After being granted asylum in the United States, DHS issues asylees paper Forms I-94 that evidence their status and employment authorization with a stamp or notation indicating asylee status, such as “asylum granted indefinitely” or the appropriate provision of law (8 CFR 274a .12(a)(5) or INA 208). A computer-generated print out of Form I-94 with an admission class of “AY” is also acceptable from the asylee. The Form I-94 is considered a List C document that demonstrates employment authorization in the United States and does not expire. Asylees who choose to present this document will need to present a List B identity document, such as a state-issued driver’s license or identification card.

USCIS also issues asylees EADs which are acceptable as List A documents. Decisions from immigration judges or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) granting asylum are not acceptable List C documents because they are not issued by DHS.

Asylees may also present an expired Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) in combination with an I-797C Notice of Action from USCIS indicating timely filing of the renewal application for an EAD (provided the I-797C lists the same employment authorization category as the expired EAD). This combination is considered an unexpired employment authorization and identity document (List A) and is valid for up to 180 days after the ‘card expires’ date on the face of the EAD.

See Section 4.2 Automatic Extensions of Employment Authorization Documents in Certain Circumstances for more information about eligible categories and Form I-9 completion instructions for employees who are beneficiaries of an employment authorization document auto-extension.

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