[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]


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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.

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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
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If... Mail to...
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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