Applicants for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) receive a work permit in the form of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which is subject to timely renewal. Owing to COVID-19, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is facing substantial delay in processing EAD applications. DACA recipients were in limbo, as the delay in processing threw them out of work. To remedy this situation, the USCIS, on January 21, 2021, issued a release advising employees how to handle this situation for the purposes of completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Now, employees can use their expired EAD card along with the I-797 Extension Notice for verification as a valid work permit.
Completing Form I-9
When completing Form I-9, employees can enter the end validity date from the notice in the “Authorized to Work Until” field. They can present their unexpired EADs with the category code C33 that was issued on or after July 28, 2020. They can also submit their I-797 Extension Notice issued by the USCIS for DACA renewal for verification.
Employers must enter the validity date from their employee’s notice in the “Expiration Date” field in Section 2 of the form. Additionally, they must “Enter DACA Ext.” in the “Additional Information” field. Employers can also re-verify current employees before re-verification is required if their employee presents this combination of EAD with category C33 and I-797 extension notice. Employers must enter the notice expiration date in Section 3 and note in the additional information field in Section 2 that it is a DACA extension.
Pending Extensions for Permanent Resident Cards
On a similar note, the USCIS issued a press release on January 12, 2021, stating that it is issuing notices extending the validity of the Permanent Resident Cards (PRC) for those who have applied for Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) who apply to extend the validity of their Permanent Resident Card will, going forward, receive a Form I-797, Notice of Action. LPRs file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, when their cards expire or are about to expire.
This I-797 notice will serve as a receipt notice for Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, and extend the validity of the PRC by 12 months from the date on the front of the PRC. LPRs can provide this notice for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, purposes. Employers can use this information for completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, and include “PRC Ext” in the “additional information” box. Employers must also retain copies of both the PRC and Form I-797 with the employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Employers may not reverify LPRs who present this document combination.