Employment Authorization FAQs

Form I-9 Requirements: Must non-U.S. citizens provide a DHS-issued document, such as Form I-688B, to fulfill the Form I-9 document requirements?

No. An individual who is not a U.S. citizen is not required to submit a DHS-issued document if he or she can fulfill the Form I-9 requirements with other documents. For example, an asylee with a state driver’s license (List B document) and an unrestricted Social Security card (List C document) fulfills the Form I-9 requirements and may not be required to present a DHS-issue document. If the employer did require a DHS-issued document after the asylee had submitted documents fulfilling the Form I-9 requirements, it would be considered document abuse.

Employer Requirements: What should a client do if an employer demands an USCIS employment authorization document but the client has other documents that fulfill the Form I-9 requirements?

An individual should consider providing the requested document to safeguard his or her employment. An individual may also contact OSC's Worker Hotline at 1-800-255-7688 for assistance.

Receipt Rule: What is the "receipt rule" for refugees?

Although an individual normally must submit a document from List A, or one document from List B and one document from List C, under the "receipt rule" for refugees, a refugee may meet the Form I-9 requirement by presenting to his or her employer the departure portion of the Form I-94, containing a refugee admission stamp. This submission only completes the Form I-9 temporarily. Within 90 days, the refugee must provide the employer with either (1) an unrestricted Social Security card and a List B document or (2) an employment authorization document issued by the USCIS.

Unexpired Employment Authorization Document: Is a Form I-94 with a refugee or asylee stamp considered an "unexpired employment authorization document issued by the Service" (other than those listed under List A) in List C?

Yes. The Form I-94 with a refugee or asylee stamp is considered an "unexpired employment authorization document issued by the Service" (other than those listed under List A) in List C.

Asylees and Receipt Rule: Does the “receipt rule” for refugees also apply to asylees?

No. This rule applies only to refugees. The rule does not apply to asylees.

Reverification: Does an employee need to submit the same proof of identity and employment eligibility at re-verification as he or she did on the initial Form I-9?

No. An employee may present a document that shows either an extension of his or her initial employment authorization or a new document evidencing work authorization, including an unrestricted Social Security card.

Documents and Expiration Dates: Can an employer refuse to hire an individual because the individual’s document has an expiration date?

No. Consideration of a future employment authorization expiration date in determining whether an individual is qualified for a particular job could be an unfair immigration-related employment practice.

Refugee and Asylee Work Authorization: Since a refugee or asylee is authorized to work indefinitely, how should he complete the box in Section 1 of the DHS Form I-9 to attest that he or she is authorized to work in the United States? (The box asks for the expiration of work authorization for individuals who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.)

The Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel has indicated that it is acceptable for the individual to write, “N/A - asylee” or “N/A - refugee” on the line next to box 3 in Section 1 of the DHS Form I-9.

Employment Eligibility Issues: Where can someone get help if other employment eligibility issues arise?

Contact the Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel in the Civil Rights Division for other questions regarding employment eligibility requirements or immigration-related unfair employment practices. The telephone numbers are: 202-616-5594, 1-800-255-8155 or 1-800-362-2735 (TDD).