USCIS Extends I-9 Temporary Measures due to EAD Processing Delays

December 7, 2020 Sara Herbek

Key Points

  • USCIS has further extended temporary I-9 verification measures until February 1, 2021
  • Employers may accept EAD approval notices for employee verification issued between December 1, 2019 and August 20, 2020
  • Employees who use their EAD approval notices for verification must also present a valid List B document
  • Employers must reverify employees who used the temporary measures by February 1, 2021

Overview

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has extended temporary I-9 employment verification measures through February 1, 2021. The temporary measures were scheduled to expire on December 1, 2020.

What are the Changes?

Employers now have until February 1, 2021, to continue accepting Employment Authorization Document (EAD) approval notices issued between December 1, 2019 and August 20, 2020 to verify I-9 employment eligibility. Employees who use their approval notice for employment authorization must also provide their employers with a valid ‘List B’ identity document.

Background

USCIS introduced the Form I-9 temporary measures in August 2020 to compensate for backlogs and delays that impacted processing times and printing of EADs. The agency ended a third-party contract in June 2020 with a company that printed EAD cards. USCIS cited a budget shortfall as its main reason for cancelling the contract. Backlogs and processing delays increased when the agency decided to print cards in-house rather than hire third parties.

What Should Employers and Applicants Know?

Employers who previously entered December 1, 2020 as the expiration date on an approval notice must update their I-9 forms to demonstrate the employee’s ongoing work authorization. Employers should enter “Employment Authorization Ext until 02/02/2021” in the ‘Additional Information’ box located on Section 2 of the I-9 form.

Looking Ahead

Employers must reverify their employees who used an EAD approval notice for verification by February 1, 2021. Before the temporary measures end in February 2021, employees must provide their employer with a new EAD or a document permitted from List A or List C on their Form I-9.


Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Sara Herbek, who is the Managing Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

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