USCIS Relaxes I-9 Rules Due to EAD Production Delays

Following significant delays in the production of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), USCIS will allow foreign nationals with approved EAD cases to use their approval notices for I-9 verification.

Yesterday, USCIS announced it would allow employees to present an approval notice (Form I-797) confirming approval of an I-765 Application for Employment Authorization as a List C document for purposes of I-9 verification.  The notice must have a notice date from December 1, 2019 through August 20, 2020.  If using the approval notice to establish employment authorization, employees must also present a valid List B document to establish identity.  By December 1, 2020, employees must reverify using new evidence of employment authorization, such as the issued EAD card.

This change is part of a proposed consent decree in Subramanya v. USCIS, a class-action suit filed in July to compel USCIS to produce a backlog of approved EADs.  USCIS has cited the COVID-19 pandemic and financial troubles as reasons for the delay in card production after it ended a contract with an outside vendor who was responsible for printing the cards.

Earlier yesterday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it was extending permission to complete I-9s remotely due to COVID-19.  The policy, which applies to businesses operating remotely during the pandemic, has been extended through September 19, 2020.