United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that starting November 21st, 2022, employment is a permitted incident to parole for some Afghan and Ukrainian beneficiaries who have been granted parole in the United States. In order to start working in the United States, these beneficiaries do not require USCIS approval of their work permits. This is a positive development for the refugees looking to work in the U.S. because USCIS processing timeframes on employment authorization cards (EADs) for these individuals have been as lengthy as six to eight months on average.
An unexpired Form I-94 acts as an acceptable receipt proving their identification and employment permission for the purposes of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification which serves as proof of these parolees’ right to work. For ninety days following the date of hire, the receipt meets the Form I-9 requirement or in the case of reverification, the date employment authorization expires. Once the ninety days is up, EADs or unrestricted social security cards are required, along with an appropriate identity document from the Form I-9 list of acceptable documents, such as a state-issued driver’s license.
In addition, as of November 21st, 2022, for Ukrainian parolees applying for an EAD by mail, USCIS is also waiving the charge to submit Form I-765, and Afghans granted parole under OAW are now free through September 30th, 2023, from paying the cost for an initial paper-filed Form I-765 (and a replacement EAD).