Form I-9 Update — Employment Authorization Incident to Status for Ukrainians and Afghan Refugees
On November 21, 2022, the USCIS announced that Ukrainian and Afghan parolees with certain classes of admission are employment authorized incident to their parole – meaning that they can begin employment before an Employment Authorization Document has been issued. This was announced in light of the deep backlogs at the USCIS in processing such applications and applies to such individuals so long as their parole has not been terminated by the US Department of Homeland Security. On December 1st, the Department of Justice added resources to help Afghans and Ukrainians in the United States understand their employment rights with explanations of their workplace protections.
If a new hire presents an unexpired Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, which contains a class of admission of UHP or OAR on the document, this is acceptable List A receipt that temporarily shows identity and work authorization for a Form I-9. In addition, a new hire who presents an unexpired Form I-94 which contains a class of admission of DT, is issued between February 24, 2022 and September 30, 2023, and indicates Ukraine as the country of citizenship on the document, this is also an acceptable List A receipt that temporarily shows identity and work authorization for a Form I-9. These individuals can access their Form I-94s by accessing them through the CBP I-94 website.
Since the Form I-94 is only temporary proof of employment authorization, within 90 days of hire, the employee must present either: 1) an unexpired Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”), or 2) an unrestricted Social Security card and a List B identity document.