Form I-9 and Deferred Enforcement Departure for Liberians

On January 20, President Biden issued a memorandum to reinstate Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for eligible Liberians.

Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians Reinstatement

On January 20, President Biden issued a memorandum to reinstate Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for eligible Liberians. The directive provides continued stay and work authorization to eligible Liberians through June 30, 2022.

Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) for Liberians covered under DED will be automatically extended. However, they must have an expiration date of March 30, 2020, or January 10, 2021.

The reinstatement of DED for Liberians is intended to allow additional time for eligible Liberians to apply for adjustment of status on or before December 20 under the extension of the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) provision in the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act. Liberians who apply for adjustment of status under LRIF may immediately apply for employment authorization consistent with that provision.

Completing Form I-9 for DED Eligible Employees

Eligible Liberians can present their DED EAD as proof of identity and employment eligibility for Form I-9 purposes through June 30, 2022. Employees may also present a copy of the Federal Register Notice to clear up any confusion and confirm the extension.

The government requires employers to follow-up on expiring employment authorization, including those that have been automatically extended. Employers may need to re-inspect the auto extended EAD if copies were not kept during intitial review. They should check the “Card Expires” date and “Category” code. Then, update Section 2 of the Form I-9 with the expiration date.

After June 30, 2022, employers may no longer accept automatically extended EADs under the DED Federal Register notice. Following the EAD expiration date (June 30,2022) employers should reverify employment and complete Section 3 of the Form I-9. If Section 3 of Form I-9 has already been completed, or if the version of the Form used for a previous verification is no longer valid:

  1.  Complete Section 3 of a new Form I-9. 
  2.  Attach it to the previously completed I-9.

When completing Form I-9, including reverifying employment authorization, it’s important that employers accept any documentation that appears on the Form I-9 Lists of Acceptable Documents.

Check out our on-demand webinar: Form I-9 Reverifications, Retention, and Rehires to learn more about how to complete Section 3 of the Form I-9.

 Form I-9 Reverification and Rehires Made Even Easier

The I-9 Management service from Equifax provides helpful tools and alerts to help you better manage your I-9s and reverifications. Plus, a new module planned for I-9 Anywhere® will offer digital Section 3 options through the trained local completer network to more seamlessly help you manage your rehires and reverifications. Register for a demo to learn how I-9 Management can help you to stay on top of your Form I-9 reverifications, rehires and more.   

The information provided herein is intended as general guidance and is not intended to convey specific legal advice. Please consult with your own legal or human resources professional(s) for guidance specific to your organization.