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  • News: USCIS Publishes Notice On Filing Procedures for Automatic Extension of Existing EADs for Liberians

    [Federal Register Volume 78, Number 55 (Thursday, March 21, 2013)]
    [Notices]
    [Pages 17423-17427]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2013-06519]
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
    
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
    
    [CIS No. 2534-13; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2011-0014]
    RIN 1615-ZB21
    
    
    Filing Procedures for Employment Authorization and Automatic 
    Extension of Existing Employment Authorization Documents for Liberians 
    Eligible for Deferred Enforced Departure
    
    AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
    Homeland Security.
    
    ACTION: Notice.
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    SUMMARY: On March 15, 2013, President Obama issued a memorandum to the 
    Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano directing her to extend 
    for an additional 18 months the deferred enforced departure (DED) of 
    certain Liberians and to provide for work authorization during that 
    period. The DED extension runs from April 1, 2013, through September 
    30, 2014. This notice provides instructions for eligible Liberians on 
    how to apply for the full 18-month extension of employment 
    authorization. Finally, this notice provides instructions for DED-
    eligible Liberians on how to apply for permission to travel outside the 
    United States during the 18-month DED period.
        USCIS will issue new employment authorization documents (EADs) with 
    a September 30, 2014 expiration date to Liberians whose DED has been 
    extended under the Presidential Memorandum of March 15, 2013, and who 
    apply for EADs under this extension. Given the timeframes involved with 
    processing EAD applications, DHS recognizes that not all DED-eligible 
    Liberians will receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on 
    March 31, 2013. Accordingly, this notice also automatically extends for 
    6 months (through September 30, 2013) the validity of DED-related EADs 
    that have an expiration date of March 31, 2013 and explains how 
    Liberians covered under DED and their employers may determine which 
    EADs are automatically extended and their impact on Employment 
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and E-Verify processes.
    
    DATES: The 6-month automatic extension of employment authorization for 
    Liberians who are covered under DED, including the extension of their 
    EADs as specified in this notice, is effective on April 1, 2013. This 
    automatic extension expires on September 30, 2013. The 18-month 
    extension of DED is valid through September 30, 2014.
    
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  For further information on 
    DED, including guidance on the application process for EADs and 
    additional information on eligibility, please visit the Temporary 
    Protected Status (TPS) Web page at http://www.USCIS.gov/tps and choose 
    "Temporary Protected Status & Deferred Enforced Departure'' from the 
    menu on the left. You can find specific information about DED for 
    Liberia by selecting ``DED Granted Country: Liberia'' from the menu on 
    the left of the TPS or DED Web page. From the Liberian page, you can 
    select the Liberian DED Questions & Answers from the menu on the right 
    for further information.
         You can also contact the DED Operations Program Manager at 
    the Status and Family Branch, Service Center Operations Directorate, 
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland 
    Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2060; or by 
    phone at (202) 272-1533 (this is not a toll-free number). Note: The 
    phone number provided here is solely for questions regarding this DED 
    notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries.
         Applicants seeking information about the status of their 
    individual cases can check Case Status Online available at the USCIS 
    Web site at http://www.USCIS.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer 
    Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).
         Further information will also be available at local USCIS 
    offices upon publication of this notice.
    
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    
    Presidential Memorandum Extending DED for Certain Liberians
    
        Pursuant to his constitutional authority to conduct the foreign 
    relations of the United States, President Obama has directed that 
    Liberian nationals (and eligible persons without nationality who last 
    resided in Liberia) who are physically present in the United States, 
    have continuously resided in the United States since October 1, 2002, 
    and who remain eligible for DED through March 31, 2013 be provided DED 
    for an additional 18-month period. See Presidential Memorandum--
    Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians, March 15, 2013 
    ("Presidential Memorandum'') here. Only individuals who held TPS under the former Liberia TPS 
    designation as of September 30, 2007 are eligible for DED, provided 
    they have continued to meet all other eligibility criteria established 
    by the President. The President also directed the Secretary of Homeland 
    Security (Secretary) to implement the necessary steps to authorize 
    employment authorization for eligible Liberians for 18 months from 
    April 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014.
    
    [[Page 17424]]
    
    Employment Authorization and Filing Requirements
    
    How will I know if I am eligible for employment authorization under the 
    Presidential Memorandum that extended DED for certain Liberians for 18 
    months?
    
        The DED extension and the procedures for employment authorization 
    in this notice apply to Liberian nationals (and persons without 
    nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia) who:
         Are physically present in the United States;
         Have continuously resided in the United States since 
    October 1, 2002; and
         Are under a grant of DED through March 31, 2013.
        The above eligibility criteria are described in the Presidential 
    Memorandum. Only individuals who held TPS under the former Liberia TPS 
    designation as of September 30, 2007 are eligible for DED, provided 
    they have continued to meet all other eligibility criteria established 
    by the President. This DED extension does not include any individual:
         Who would be ineligible for TPS for the reasons provided 
    in section 244(c)(2)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 
    U.S.C. 1254a(c)(2)(B);
         Whose removal the Secretary determines is in the interest 
    of the United States;
         Whose presence or activities in the United States the 
    Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have 
    potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United 
    States;
         Who has voluntarily returned to Liberia or his or her 
    country of last habitual residence outside the United States;
         Who was deported, excluded, or removed prior to March 15, 
    2013; or
         Who is subject to extradition.
    
    
    What will I need to file if I am covered by DED and would like to have 
    evidence of employment authorization?
    
        If you are covered under DED for Liberia, and would like evidence 
    of your employment authorization during the 18-month extension of DED, 
    you must apply for an EAD by filing an Application for Employment 
    Authorization (Form I-765). USCIS will begin accepting these 
    applications on March 21, 2013. If you have a DED-related EAD that is 
    valid through March 31, 2013, you must file an Application for 
    Employment Authorization (Form I-765) as soon as possible to avoid gaps 
    in work authorization. Please carefully follow the Application for 
    Employment Authorization (Form I-765) instructions when completing the 
    application for an EAD. When filing the Application for Employment 
    Authorization (Form I-765), you must:
         Indicate that you are eligible for DED by putting 
    ``(a)(11)'' in response to Question 16 on Form I-765;
         Include a copy of your last Notice of Action (Form I-797) 
    showing that you were approved for TPS as of September 30, 2007, if 
    such copy is available. Please note that evidence of TPS as of 
    September 30, 2007 is necessary to show that you were covered under the 
    previous DED for Liberia through March 31, 2013; and
         Submit the fee for the Application for Employment 
    Authorization (Form I-765).
        The regulations require individuals covered under DED who request 
    an EAD to pay the fee prescribed in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1)(i)(HH) for the 
    Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). See also 8 CFR 
    274a.12(a)(11) (employment authorized for DED-covered aliens); 8 CFR 
    274a.13(a) (requirement to file EAD application if EAD desired). If you 
    are unable to pay the fee, you may apply for an application fee waiver 
    by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or submitting a 
    personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing satisfactory 
    supporting documentation.
    
    How will I know if I will need to obtain biometrics?
    
        If biometrics are required to produce the secure EAD, you will be 
    notified by USCIS and scheduled for an appointment at a USCIS 
    Application Support Center.
    
    Where do I submit my completed Application for Employment Authorization 
    (Form I-765)?
    
        Please submit your completed Application for Employment 
    Authorization (Form I-765) and supporting documentation to the proper 
    address in Table 1.
    
                           Table 1--Mailing Addresses
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       If...                             Mail to...
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You are applying through the U.S. Postal    USCIS, Attn: DED Liberia,
     Service.                                    P.O. Box 6943, Chicago, IL
                                                 60680-6943.
    You are using a non-U.S. Postal Service     USCIS, Attn: DED Liberia,
     delivery service.                           131 S. Dearborn 3rd Floor,
                                                 Chicago, IL 60603-5517.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Can I file my Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) 
    electronically?
    
        No. Electronic filing is not available for filing Form I-765 based 
    on DED.
    
    Extension of Employment Authorization and EADs
    
    May I request an interim EAD at my local office?
    
        No. Local USCIS offices will not issue interim EADs to individuals 
    eligible for DED under the Presidential Memorandum.
    
    Am I eligible to receive an automatic 6-month extension of my current 
    EAD from April 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013?
    
        You are eligible for an automatic 6-month extension of your EAD if 
    you are a national of Liberia (or person having no nationality who last 
    habitually resided in Liberia), you are currently covered by DED 
    through March 31, 2013, and you are within the class of persons 
    approved for DED by the President.
        This automatic extension covers EADs issued on the Employment 
    Authorization Document (Form I-766) bearing an expiration date of March 
    31, 2013. These EADs must also bear the notation ``A-11'' on the face 
    of the card under ``Category.''
    
    When hired, what documentation may I show to my employer as proof of 
    employment authorization and identity when completing Employment 
    Eligibility Verification, Form I-9?
    
        You can find a list of acceptable document choices on the ``Lists 
    of Acceptable Documents'' for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
    I-9). You can find additional detailed information on the USCIS I-9 
    Central Web page at http://www.USCIS.gov/I-9Central. Employers are 
    required to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new 
    employees by using Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). 
    Within 3 days of hire, an employee must present proof of identity and 
    employment authorization to his or her employer.
        You may present any document from List A (reflecting both your 
    identity and employment authorization), or one document from List B 
    (reflecting identity) together with one document from List C 
    (reflecting employment authorization). An EAD is an acceptable document 
    under List A. Employers may not reject a document based upon a future 
    expiration date.
    
    [[Page 17425]]
    
        If you received a 6-month automatic extension of your EAD by virtue 
    of this Federal Register notice, you may choose to present your 
    automatically extended EAD, as described above, to your employer as 
    proof of identity and employment authorization for Employment 
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) through September 30, 2013 (see the 
    subsection below titled ``How do my employer and I complete Employment 
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) using an automatically extended EAD 
    for a new job?'' for further information). To minimize confusion over 
    this extension at the time of hire, you may also show your employer a 
    copy of this Federal Register notice regarding the automatic extension 
    of employment authorization through September 30, 2013. As an 
    alternative to presenting your automatically extended EAD, you may 
    choose to present any other acceptable document from List A, or List B 
    plus List C.
    
    What documentation may I show my employer if I am already employed but 
    my current DED-related EAD is set to expire?
    
        Even though EADs with an expiration date of March 31, 2013 that 
    state ``A-11'' under ``Category'' have been automatically extended for 
    6 months by virtue of this Federal Register notice, your employer will 
    need to ask you about your continued employment authorization once 
    March 31, 2013 is reached to meet its responsibilities for Employment 
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). However, your employer does not 
    need a new document to reverify your employment authorization until 
    September 30, 2013, the expiration date of the automatic extension. 
    Instead, you and your employer must make corrections to the employment 
    authorization expiration dates in Section 1 and Section 2 of Employment 
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) (see the subsection below titled, 
    ``What corrections should my current employer and I make to Employment 
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) if my EAD has been automatically 
    extended?'' for further information). In addition, you may also show 
    this Federal Register notice to your employer to avoid confusion about 
    what to do for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).
        By September 30, 2013, the expiration date of the automatic 
    extension, your employer must reverify your employment authorization. 
    You must present any document from List A or any document form list C 
    on Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) to reverify 
    employment authorization. Your employer is required to reverify on 
    Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) the employment 
    authorization of current employees no later than the expiration of a 
    DED-related EAD. Your employer should use either Section 3 of a new 
    Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) originally completed for 
    the employee or, if this section has already been completed or if the 
    version of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) is no longer 
    valid, complete Section 3 of a new Employment Eligibility Verification 
    (Form I-9) using the most current version. Note that your employer may 
    not specify which List A or List C document employees must present.
    
    What happens after September 30, 2013 for purposes of employment 
    authorization?
    
        After September 30, 2013, employers may not accept the EADs that 
    this Federal Register notice automatically extended. However, before 
    that time, USCIS will issue new EADs to eligible individuals covered 
    under DED who request an EAD. These new EADs will have an expiration 
    date of September 30, 2014 and can be presented to your employer as 
    proof of employment authorization and identity. The EAD will bear the 
    notation ``A-11'' on the face of the card under ``Category.'' 
    Alternatively, you may choose to present any other legally acceptable 
    document or combination of documents listed on Employment Eligibility 
    Verification (Form I-9).
    
    How do I and my employer complete Employment Eligibility Verification 
    (Form I-9) using an automatically extended EAD for a new job?
    
        When using an automatically extended EAD to fill out Employment 
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for a new job prior to September 
    30, 2013, you and your employer should do the following:
        (1) For Section 1, you should:
        a. Check ``An alien authorized to work'';
        b. Write your alien number (USCIS number or A-number) in the first 
    space (your EAD or other document from DHS will have your USCIS number 
    or A-number printed on it; the USCIS Number is the same as your A-
    number without the A prefix); and
        c. Write the automatic extension date (September 30, 2013) in the 
    second space.
        (2) For Section 2, employers should record the:
        a. Document title;
        b. Document number; and
        c. Automatically extended EAD expiration date (September 30, 2013).
        No later than September 30, 2013, when the automatic extension of 
    EADs expires, employers must reverify the employee's employment 
    authorization in Section 3 of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
    I-9).
    
    What corrections should my current employer and I make to Employment 
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) if my EAD has been automatically 
    extended?
    
        If you are an existing employee who presented a DED-related EAD 
    that was valid when you first started your job, but that EAD has now 
    been automatically extended, you and your employer should correct your 
    previously completed Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) as 
    follows:
        (1) For Section 1, you should:
        a. Draw a line through the expiration date in the second space;
        b. Write ``September 30, 2013'' above the previous date;
        c. Write ``DED Ext.'' in the margin of Section 1; and
        d. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 1.
        (2) For Section 2, employers should:
        a. Draw a line through the expiration date written in Section 2;
        b. Write ``September 30, 2013'' above the previous date;
        c. Write ``DED Ext.'' in the margin of Section 2; and
        d. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 2.
        No later than September 30, 2013, when the automatic extension of 
    EADs expires, employers must reverify the employee's employment 
    authorization in Section 3 of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
    I-9).
    
    If I am an employer enrolled in E-Verify, what do I do when I receive a 
    ``Work Authorization Documents Expiring'' alert for an automatically 
    extended EAD?
    
        If you are an employer who participates in E-Verify, you will 
    receive a ``Work Authorization Documents Expiring'' case alert when an 
    individual covered under DED has an EAD that is about to expire. 
    Usually, this message is an alert to complete Section 3 of Employment 
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) to reverify an employee's 
    employment authorization. For existing employees with DED-related EADs 
    that have been automatically extended, employers should dismiss this 
    alert by clicking the red ``X'' in the ``dismiss alert'' column and 
    follow the instructions above explaining how to
    
    [[Page 17426]]
    
    correct Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). By September 
    30, 2013, employment authorization must be reverified in Section 3. You 
    should never use E-Verify for reverification.
    
    Can my employer require that I produce any other documentation to prove 
    my status, such as proof of my Liberian citizenship?
    
        No. When completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9), 
    including reverifying employment authorization, employers must accept 
    any documentation that appears on the ``Lists of Acceptable Documents'' 
    for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and that reasonably 
    appears to be genuine and that relates to you. Employers may not 
    request documentation that does not appear on the ``Lists of Acceptable 
    Documents.'' Therefore, employers may not request proof of Liberian 
    citizenship when completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
    I-9) for new hires or reverifying the employment authorization of 
    current employees. If presented with EADs that are unexpired on their 
    face or that have been automatically extended, employers should accept 
    such EADs as valid List A documents so long as the EADs reasonably 
    appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee. See below for 
    important information about your rights if your employer rejects lawful 
    documentation, requires additional documentation, or otherwise 
    discriminates against you based on your citizenship or immigration 
    status, or your national origin.
    
    Note to All Employers
    
        Employers are reminded that the laws requiring proper employment 
    eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair immigration-related 
    employment practices remain in full force. This notice does not 
    supersede or in any way limit applicable employment verification rules 
    and policy guidance, including those rules setting forth reverification 
    requirements. For general questions about the employment eligibility 
    verification process, employers may call the USCIS Form I-9 Customer 
    Support at 888-464-4218 (TDD for the hearing impaired is at 877-875-
    6028). For questions about avoiding discrimination during the 
    employment eligibility verification process, employers may also call 
    the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for 
    Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline 
    at 800-255-8155 (TDD for the hearing impaired is at 800-237-2515), 
    which offers language interpretation in numerous languages.
    
    Note to Employees
    
        For general questions about the employment eligibility verification 
    process, employees may call the USCIS National Customer Service Center 
    at 800-375-5283 (TDD for the hearing impaired is at 800-767-1833); 
    calls are accepted in English and Spanish. Employees or applicants may 
    also call the OSC Worker Information Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TDD for 
    the hearing impaired is at 800-237-2515) for information regarding 
    employment discrimination based upon citizenship, immigration status, 
    or national origin, or for information regarding discrimination related 
    to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and E-Verify. The OSC 
    Worker Information Hotline provides language interpretation in numerous 
    languages.
        To comply with the law, employers must accept any document or 
    combination of documents acceptable for Employment Eligibility 
    Verification (Form I-9) completion if the documentation reasonably 
    appears to be genuine and to relate to the employee. Employers may not 
    require extra or additional documentation beyond what is required for 
    Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) completion. Further, 
    employers participating in E-Verify who receive an E-Verify initial 
    mismatch (``tentative nonconfirmation'' or ``TNC'') on employees must 
    inform employees of the mismatch and give such employees an opportunity 
    to challenge the mismatch.
        Employers are prohibited from taking adverse action against such 
    employees based on the initial mismatch unless and until E-Verify 
    returns a final nonconfirmation. For example, employers must allow 
    employees challenging their mismatches to continue to work without any 
    delay in start date or training and without any change in hours or pay, 
    while the final E-Verify determination remains pending. Additional 
    information is available on the  OSC Web site and the USCIS Web site.
    
    Note Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as 
    Departments of Motor Vehicles)
    
        While Federal government agencies must follow the guidelines laid 
    out by the Federal government, state and local government agencies 
    establish their own rules and guidelines when granting certain 
    benefits. Each state may have different laws, requirements, and 
    determinations about what documents you need to provide to prove 
    eligibility for certain benefits. Whether you are applying for a 
    Federal, state, or local government benefit, you may need to provide 
    the government agency with documents that show you are covered under 
    DED and/or show you are authorized to work based on DED. Examples are:
        (1) Your expired EAD that has been automatically extended, or your 
    EAD that has not expired;
        (2) A copy of this Federal Register notice if your EAD is 
    automatically extended under this notice;
        (3) A copy of your past Application for Temporary Protected Status 
    Notice of Action (Form I-797), if you received one from USCIS, coupled 
    with a copy of the Presidential Memorandum extending DED for Liberians; 
    and
        (4) If there is an automatic extension of work authorization, a 
    copy of the fact sheet from the USCIS DED Web page that provides 
    information on the automatic extension.
        Check with the government agency regarding which document(s) the 
    agency will accept. You may also provide the agency with a copy of this 
    notice.
        Some benefit-granting agencies use the USCIS Systematic Alien 
    Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) to verify the current 
    immigration status of applicants for public benefits. If such an agency 
    has denied your application based solely or in part on a SAVE response, 
    the agency must offer you the opportunity to appeal the decision in 
    accordance with the agency's procedures. If the agency has received and 
    acted upon or will act upon a SAVE verification and you do not believe 
    the response is correct, you may make an InfoPass appointment for an 
    in-person interview at a local USCIS office. Detailed information on 
    how to make corrections, make an appointment, or submit a written 
    request can be found at the SAVE Web site at http://www.USCIS.gov/save, 
    then by choosing ``How to Correct Your Records'' from the menu on the 
    right.
    
    Travel Authorization and Advance Parole
    
        Individuals covered under DED who would like to travel outside of 
    the United States must apply for and receive advance parole by filing 
    an Application for Travel Document (Form I-131) with required fee 
    before departing from the United States. See 8 CFR 223.2(a). DHS has 
    the discretion to determine whether to grant advance parole and cannot 
    guarantee advance parole in all cases. In addition, possession of an 
    advance parole
    
    [[Page 17427]]
    
    document does not guarantee that you will be permitted to reenter the 
    United States, as that is a decision that will be made by an 
    immigration officer at the port of entry upon your return. If you seek 
    advance parole to travel to Liberia or to your country of last habitual 
    residence outside the United States, you will risk being found 
    ineligible to re-enter the United States under DED because the 
    Presidential Memorandum excludes persons ``who have voluntarily 
    returned to Liberia or his or her country of last habitual residence 
    outside the United States.''
        You may submit your completed Application for Travel Document (Form 
    I-131) with your Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). 
    If you choose to file an Application for Travel Document (Form I-131) 
    separately, please submit the application along with supporting 
    documentation that you qualify for DED to the proper address in Table 
    2.
    
                           Table 2--Mailing Addresses
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       If...                             Mail to...
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You are applying through the U.S. Postal    USCIS, Attn: DED Liberia,
     Service.                                    P.O. Box 6943, Chicago, IL
                                                 60680-6943.
    You are using a non-U.S. Postal Service     USCIS, Attn: DED Liberia,
     delivery service.                           131 S. Dearborn 3rd Floor,
                                                 Chicago, IL 60603-5517.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        If you have a pending or approved Application for Employment 
    Authorization (Form I-765), please submit the Notice of Action (Form I-
    797) along with your Application for Travel Document (Form I-131) and 
    supporting documentation.
    
    Alejandro N. Mayorkas,
    Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
    [FR Doc. 2013-06519 Filed 3-20-13; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    
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