EAD Approval Notices Can Temporarily Be Used to Show Work Authorization and Form I-765 Updates

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick informs our readers about a recent update announced by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) concerning employment authorization cards also known as EADs. Employees may now present their I-765 Notice of Approval as temporary proof of lawful employment in the United States.


A recent delay in the production of employment authorization cards (EADs) caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has led USCIS to enact a new policy providing relief to those who have an approved I-765 Application for Employment Authorization but have not yet received their employment authorization cards in the mail.

The new policy, announced on August 19, 2020, permits employees to use Form I-797 Notice of Action, with a Notice date on or after December 1, 2019 including through August 20, 2020, that shows the approval of Form I-765 for purposes of satisfying Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, even though the Notice of Action approval states that it is not evidence of employment authorization.

Pursuant to the announcement, I-797 Notice of Action of approval, will now qualify as a List C document that establishes employment authorization issued by the Department of Homeland Security. The employee may present the notice of approval to their employer to remain in compliance with Form I-9 until December 1, 2020.

In addition to presenting the notice of approval, the employee must also provide an acceptable List B document that establishes their identity. The list of acceptable documents to establish identity is on Form I-9.

New Form I-765 To Be Published

We would like to remind our readers that a new edition of Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization will soon be published. Applicants must use the NEW form with the edition date of 08/25/20 for applications postmarked on or after August 25, 2020. Failure to send the NEW edition date on or after August 25, 2020 will result in a rejected application.

I-765 applications postmarked BEFORE August 25, 2020 must be sent with the current edition of Form I-765 (12/26/19) or the application will be rejected.

Beginning August 25, 2020 applicants filing an initial or renewal EAD application under the (c)(8) eligibility category must submit biometrics and pay the biometrics services fees. For these individuals, the new edition of Form I-765 will contain new questions based on the pending asylum petition.

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