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USCIS Allows I-765 NOA Approval Receipt Notice to Establish I-9 Employment Verification

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We have great news for our readers. On August 19, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued an important announcement for applicants whose Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization has been approved, but who have not yet received their employment authorization document (EAD card) by mail.


What’s this all about

Since the emergence of the Coronavirus outbreak, there has been significant delays affecting the production of certain Employment Authorization Documents also known as EAD cards, which permit an applicant to obtain lawful employment in the United States, a driver’s license, and other important documentation such as a Social Security number.

These delays have caused hardships for applicants and created additional obstacles to finding employment during an already difficult economic time.

The good news is that USCIS is providing temporary relief for applicants who have received an approval notice, but have not yet received an employment authorization document (EAD card) in the mail.

Due to the unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances caused by COVID-19, USCIS will allow foreign nationals to temporarily use their Form I-797 Notice of Action, with a notice date on or after December 1, 2019 through August 20, 2020, informing the applicant of the approval of their I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, as evidence of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

In other words, individuals can now provide employers with the I-797 Notice of Action, receipt of approval of the Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, in order to qualify for lawful employment.

Pursuant to the announcement, the Notice of Action is now considered a List C #7 approved document that establishes employment authorization issued by the Department of Homeland Security, even though the Notice states that it is not evidence of employment authorization.

Accordingly, employees can present Form I-797 Notice of Action showing approval of their I-765 application as a list C document for Form I-9 compliance until December 1, 2020.

For I-9 completion, employees who present a Form I-797 Notice of Action described above for new employment must also present their employer with an acceptable List B document that establishes identity. The Lists of Acceptable Documents is on Form I-9.  Current employees who require reverification can present Form I-797 Notice of Action as proof of employment authorization under List C.

We believe this is a step in the right direction and hope that USCIS can quickly and efficiently resolve the EAD backlogs as soon as possible.

For more information on acceptable documentation for verifying employment authorization and identity please click here.


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