6.3 Refugees and Asylees
Refugees and asylees are employment eligible incident to their status and are authorized to work indefinitely because their immigration status does not expire. They may present any List A document or combination of List B and List C documents from the Form I-9 Lists of Acceptable Documents to demonstrate identity and employment authorization. Employees may also present an acceptable receipt instead of the List A, B or C document. For more information about receipts, including the receipts refugees and asylees may present, see the information below in this section or Section 4.3, Acceptable Receipts.
Upon admission to the United States, DHS provides refugees with a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, which does not expire.
When completing Form I-9, refugees should check “alien authorized to work” and enter “N/A” on the Expiration Date field in Section 1, even if they have an EAD with an expiration date.
The departure portion that contains an unexpired refugee admission stamp or an electronic Form I-94 with an admission class of “RE” is an acceptable receipt establishing both employment authorization and identity for 90 days. If the refugee presents this receipt, 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 with a Form I-797C, Notice of Action, if the notice lists the same employment authorization category as the expired EAD. This combination is considered an unexpired List A document and is valid for up to 180 days after the “Card Expires” date on the EAD. For more information, see Section 4.4, Automatic Extensions of Employment Authorization and/or Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) in Certain Circumstances.
After being granted asylum in the United States, DHS issues a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, to asylees. Form I-94 will contain a stamp or notation, such as “asylum granted indefinitely” or the appropriate provision of law (8 CFR 274a .12(a)(5) or INA 208) to show their employment authorization. An asylee can also present an electronic Form I-94 with an admission class of “AY.” Form I-94 is an acceptable List C document and does not expire. Asylees who choose to present this document must also present a List B identity document, such as a state-issued driver’s license or identification card.
When completing Form I-9, asylees should indicate “alien authorized to work” and enter “N/A” on the expiration date line in Section 1, even if they have an EAD with an expiration date.
USCIS issues EADs to asylees. These are acceptable List A documents; however, 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.