By John Fay
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that the Secretary of Homeland Security is extending the designation of both Ukraine and Sudan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an additional 18 months. The extensions will begin on Oct. 20, 2023, and end on April 19, 2025.
TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible individuals from certain designated countries (or parts of countries) that are considered unsafe due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, and other extraordinary and temporary conditions. TPS beneficiaries are eligible to remain in the United States, may not be removed, and are authorized to receive Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) as long as they meet TPS requirements.
Given the lengthy time frames involved with processing TPS re-registration and EAD renewal applications, DHS is automatically extending the validity of certain EADs previously issued under the TPS designations of Ukraine and Sudan through October 19, 2024.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions for employers regarding this update:
These updates could potentially impact employers with respect to both newly hired and existing employees who are authorized to work based on TPS and can benefit from the auto-extension mentioned above.
If a new hire presents an automatically extended EAD pursuant to TPS for Ukraine or Sudan, employers are instructed to examine the EAD to ensure it has a category code of A–12 or C–19 and has a “Card Expires” date of October 19, 2023. Employers should then record the EAD information in Section 2 of the I-9 as usual and write the auto-extended expiration date, which is October 19, 2024 for both Ukraine and Sudan TPS beneficiaries.
With respect to existing employees, if the worker previously presented a TPS-related EAD that was valid when they first started the job, the employer may need to re-examine the EAD to confirm the “Card Expires” date and category code if a copy of the EAD was not kept when it was initially presented. After reviewing the expiration date and category code, the employer should annotate the auto-extension on the Form I-9.
Before the auto-extension period ends on October 19, 2024, the employer will be required by law to reverify employment authorization on the Form I-9.
No. Employers should not request proof of citizenship or proof of re-registration for TPS when completing the Form I-9 for new hires or reverifying the employment authorization of current employees. If an employee presents an EAD that has been automatically extended as described above, employers should accept it as a valid List A document so long as it reasonably appears to be genuine and relates to the employee presenting it.
E-Verify employers may create an E-Verify case as usual for a newly hired employee by entering the requested EAD information from the completed Form I-9, including the EAD’s document number and the auto-extended October 19, 2024 expiration date. Employers should not submit existing employees’ information to E-Verify when performing a reverification.
For more information on recent updates to Form I-9, check out some of our recent articles where we cover what’s new with the updated Form I-9 and break down need-to-knows regarding the DHS announcement regarding virtual inspection requirements.
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