The USCIS announced that due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the production of certain Employment Authorization Documents (Form I-766, EAD) have been delayed. As a result, employees may use the I-765 Approval Notice (I-797) with a Notice Date on or after December 1, 2019 through and including August 20, 2020 as a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, List C document that establishes employment authorization issued by the Department of Homeland Security, even though the notice itself states it is not evidence of employment authorization. Employees may present their I-797 Approval Notice showing approval of their I-765 application as a list C document for Form I-9 compliance until December 1, 2020. This applies only to I-765 Approval Notices - not Receipt Notices.
For new employees - This notice does not prove evidence of identity and may not be used as a List A document, which establishes both identity and employment authorization. A separate List B (identity) document must also be provided for I-9 purposes for new employment must also present their employer with an acceptable List B document that establishes identity.
For current employees who require re-verification - The I-797 Approval Notice for the I-765 (EAD) application will serve as proof of employment authorization in Section 3 or under List C for a subsequent re-verification that requires a new I-9 form.
By December 1, 2020, employers must re-verify employees who presented an I-797 Approval notice as a List C document. These employees will need to present their employers with new evidence of employment authorization from either List A or
Extension of Remote I-9 Verification Procedures
Further, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of the flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9 due to COVID-19.
This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely and permits them to remotely inspect and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents to complete Section 2 of Form I-9.
This temporary guidance was set to expire August 18. Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, DHS has extended this policy for an additional 30 days.
Please refer to the immigration alerts from 6/17/2020 and 5/4/2020 on our website (www.freijylaw.com/immigration-alerts/) for more information on temporary I-9 and E-Verify procedures that have been put in place.
E-Verify participants who meet the criteria and choose the remote inspection option should continue to follow current guidance and create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire.