The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that it will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela for eighteen months. TPS for Venezuela is currently set to expire on March 10, 2024. Based on an advanced copy of the Federal Register Notice, the re-designation will extend TPS for Venezuela to April 2, 2025. The U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services (USCIS) will also automatically extend the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) of Venezuelan nationals through March 10, 2025. To qualify for the automatic extension, the individual must currently hold an EAD with the notation A-12 or C-19 under “Category” and the EAD card must expire on March 10, 2024 or September 9, 2022. The employee must also re-register for TPS but the employer may not ask for proof that the employee re-registered for TPS or proof of the employee’s Venezuelan citizenship.
In the case of a current employee who will qualify for the automatic extension, the employer updates Section 2 of the Form I-9. The employer writes EAD EXT and March 10, 2025 in the Additional Information field and initials and dates the correction. The employer will need to re-verify the employee’s work authorization by March 11, 2025.
On September 27, 2023, the USCIS announced that it is revising its policy on the maximum validity of employment authorization documents (EADs) for certain individuals. Under the new policy, the maximum validity period for an EAD will increase from two years to five years for those admitted as refugees, granted asylum, and granted withholding of deportation or removal. The USCIS will also have discretion to issue a five-year EAD to a person with a pending application for asylum. Currently, asylum applicants are issued two year EADs. The purpose of the policy change is to reduce the burden on the USCIS and EAD applicants.
Please note that, although asylees and refugees may apply for an EAD, they do not need an EAD to be authorized to work in the United States. Section 7.3 of the I-9 Handbook for Employers explains that asylees and refugees are authorized to work indefinitely and lists the various documents they may present as proof of work authorization.
Don’t forget to start using the new Form I-9. Beginning November 1, only the new Form I-9 dated “08/01/2023” may be used.