For companies whose workforce may include individuals with TPS from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria, it is critical to be familiar with the work authorization benefits of TPS to avoid issues in the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) regulations require that documents presented during the Form I-9 process documents be unexpired, but there are exceptions employers need to be aware of. In the case of TPS work authorized individuals, it may be permissible to continue to employ a worker or hire a new worker with a TPS extension even after the expiration date noted on their work authorization document. An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (I-766) generally takes three (3) months to process. When DHS extends a TPS country designation (and work eligibility), it is often close to its current expiration, often leaving TPS beneficiaries with a potential gap in work authorization. To account for the time it takes to obtain a new EAD, in conjunction with the TPS extension, DHS often issues a Federal Register notice that provides for an automatic extension of expiring EADs. This allows individuals to apply for extensions and allows USCIS the time it requires to process new EADs with the new validity dates. To be eligible for the work authorization, applicants must re-register for TPS and request the work authorization to obtain the new EAD before the automatic extension period ends.
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