Due to extensive delays in the production and issuance of Employment Authorization Documents (Form I-766, EAD) by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency announced that employees may temporarily use Form I-797 Approval Notices for EADs as a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, List C #7 document that establishes employment authorization.
The Form I-797 Approval Notices must have been issued from December 1, 2019 through August 20, 2020. Employees may present their Form I-797 Approval Notice until December 1, 2020, and must also present their employer with an acceptable List B document that establishes identity. Current employees who require reverification can present this Form I-797 Approval Notice as proof of employment authorization under List C.
By December 1, 2020, the employer must re-verify employees who presented the Form I-797 Approval Notice as employment verification. These employees will need to present their employers with new evidence of employment authorization from either List A or List C. Employers should note that it is the employee's choice whether to present the EAD or another document from either List A or List C.
This new procedure was implemented to address delays in the production of EADs, which occurred after the USCIS announced in June that it had ended a contract with an outside vendor to produce these cards. The agency anticipates that the delays will continue for the foreseeable future. Although Green Cards are also affected by this production delay, those individuals with approved Green Cards may obtain a stamp as temporary evidence of work authorization.
Originally published 21 August, 2020
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