USCIS to Issue New Employment and Travel Authorization Document that Employers may Accept for Employment Eligibility Verification
Today, USCIS announced that it is now issuing a new document that represents both employment and travel authorization for certain foreign nationals who have filed an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, commonly referred to as a “Green Card Application.” Previously, USCIS issued employment and travel authorization documents separately, and may continue to do so under certain circumstances as necessary. According to the announcement, employers may accept the new work and travel authorization card as a List A document when completing Section 2 of the Form I-9.
Unfortunately, the announcement did not include a sample image of the new card, although apparently it will look similar to the current Employment Authorization Document (EAD or Form I-766) and will include a caption that reads “Serves as I-512 Advance Parole” (click here to see a sample image of an EAD card). We will post an image of the new card as soon as it becomes available since Employers will want to become familiar with it for I-9 purposes.
There’s no doubt that this announcement raises important questions that remain unanswered. Specifically, in the context of the Form I-9 and E-Verify:
- Will the new card be considered as a new List A document, or will USCIS simply treat it as akin to the EAD card?
- When an employee presents this new document, what should employers write in as the “Document Title” on the Form I-9?
- If the new card will be considered as a new List A document, when will USCIS publish the updated list of acceptable documents that’s found in the Form I-9 Instructions and the Handbook for Employer, Instructions for Completing Form I-9?
- Will employers who participate in E-Verify be required to retain a copy of the new card and perform E-Verify photo matching?
We look forward to receiving the answers to these questions as well as additional guidance from USCIS that helps employers understand how the new work and travel authorization card impacts the complex Form I-9 and E-Verify process.
You can read the full USCIS announcement on their website, here.