The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that, due to delays in the production of employment authorization documents (EADs), a form I-797 approval notice that has a notice date on or after December 1, 2019 through and including August 20, 2020, can be used to evidence work authorization.
The USCIS announcement further advises employers that this approval notice can be used for form I-9 purposes, rather than the physical EAD, which typically is required.
Unfortunately, this only applies to those with an I-797 approval notice. It does not serve to provide work authorization to a person with a pending EAD application.
USCIS OFFICIAL MESSAGE
THE I-797 NOTICE OF ACTION DESCRIBED ABOVE DOES NOT PROVE EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY OR SERVE AS A LIST A DOCUMENT ESTABLISHING BOTH IDENTITY AND EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION OR A LIST B DOCUMENT ESTABLISHING IDENTITY FOR FORM I-9 PURPOSES.
By December 1, 2020, employers must reverify employees who presented Form I-797 Notice of Action as a List C document. These employees will need to present their employers with new evidence of employment authorization from either List A or List C.
We encourage employers to accept new EADs presented by employees as soon as they receive them from USCIS prior to December 1, 2020, to satisfy the reverification requirement. However, it is the employees’ choice whether to present their new EADs, or a different document from either List A or List C.