By Jason Fry
The pandemic has pushed burnout among healthcare workers to crisis levels, driving many HR professionals and other stakeholders to call for systemic solutions to help retain critical personnel. In response to the hospital staff shortage, the U.S. government is offering a way for healthcare workers to quickly renew employment permits known as Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). All employees must complete a Form I-9 at the time of hire. When an EAD expires, employers must reverify that the employee is still authorized to work in the United States.
When employees present documents that indicate a temporary right to work, employers must reverify that document on or before the expiration date. Employers should be tracking the expiration of the work authorization documents to make sure that reverification happens, and it's important to note that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suggests that employers notify the employees 90 days before the upcoming expiration date.
Effective December 28, 2021, healthcare workers with pending EAD applications (Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization) may qualify for expedited EAD renewal. Healthcare workers with expired EADs can contact USCIS regarding an application for an expedited document.
Qualifications for expedited Form I-765 renewal:
Evidence of the employee's current or past employment as a healthcare worker will need to be provided. However, the guidance does not yet specify what proof will be considered sufficient for expedited processing.
Receipt number of pending and or file Form I-765.
To be clear, expedited processing does not mean the Form I-765 application will be automatically approved. If the new EAD is not delivered to USCIS before the existing one expires, healthcare professionals cannot work. However, there are some categories in which EADs are automatically extended, allowing the healthcare worker to work up to 180 days after their current EAD expires.
It's vital that employers stay on top of expiring EADs to help remain compliant and up-to-date with hiring regulations. One way to do this is with an electronic I-9 system like I-9 Management from Equifax Workforce Solutions. With alerts and notifications for upcoming Form I-9 reverifications, you can help keep your I-9s up to date and also help your employees by reminding them they will need a new or updated proof of employment authorization.
Get tips for staying on top of your I-9s with our Checklist for I-9 Enforcement.
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