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Notice

Extension of South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status

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AGENCY:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

Through this Notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) is extending the designation of South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from November 3, 2017, through May 2, 2019. This Notice also sets forth procedures necessary for nationals of South Sudan (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan) to re-register for TPS and to apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS will issue new EADs with a May 2, 2019 expiration date to eligible South Sudan TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs under this extension. Provided a South Sudan TPS beneficiary timely re-registers and properly files an application for an EAD during the 60-day re-registration period, his or her EAD will be automatically extended for an additional period not to exceed 180 days from the date the current EAD expires, i.e., through May 1, 2018. See 8 CFR 274a.13(d)(1).

DATES:

Extension of Designation of South Sudan for TPS: The 18-month extension of the TPS designation of South Sudan is effective on November 3, 2017, and will remain in effect through May 2, 2019. The 60-day re-registration period runs from September 21, 2017 through November 20, 2017. (Note: It is important for re-registrants to timely re-register during this 60-day period and not to wait until their EADs expire.)

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

  • For further information on TPS, including guidance on the application process and additional information on eligibility, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/​tps. You can find specific information about this extension of South Sudan's TPS designation by selecting “South Sudan” from the menu on the left side of the TPS Web page.
  • You can also contact Alexander King, Branch Chief, Waivers and Temporary Services Branch, Service Center Operations Directorate, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2060; or by phone at (202) 272-8377 (this is not a toll-free number). Note: The phone number provided here is solely for questions regarding this TPS Notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries.
  • Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). Service is available in English and Spanish.
  • Further information will also be available at local USCIS offices upon publication of this Notice.
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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Abbreviations

BIA—Board of Immigration Appeals

DHS—Department of Homeland Security

DOS—Department of State

EAD—Employment Authorization Document

FNC—Final Nonconfirmation

Government—U.S. Government

IJ—Immigration Judge

INA—Immigration and Nationality Act

IER—U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER)

SAVE—USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program

Secretary—Secretary of Homeland Security

TNC—Tentative Nonconfirmation

TPS—Temporary Protected Status

TTY—Text Telephone

USCIS—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through May 2, 2019, so long as they otherwise continue to meet the eligibility requirements for TPS. The Secretary determined that an extension of the current designation of South Sudan for TPS is warranted because the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that prompted the 2016 TPS redesignation have persisted, and in some cases deteriorated, and would pose a serious threat to the personal safety of South Sudanese nationals if they were required to return to their country. The Secretary also has determined that permitting such South Sudanese nationals to continue to remain in the United States is not contrary to the national interest of the United States.

Through this Notice, DHS sets forth procedures necessary for eligible nationals of South Sudan (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan) to re-register under the extension if they already have TPS and to apply for renewal of their EADs with USCIS. Certain individuals may be eligible to file a late initial application for TPS if they meet the conditions described in 8 CFR 244.2(f)(2). Information on late initial filing is also available on the USCIS TPS Web site link at www.uscis.gov/​tps.

For individuals who have already been granted TPS, the 60-day re-registration period runs from September 21, 2017 through November 20, 2017. USCIS will issue new EADs with a May 2, 2019 expiration date to eligible South Sudan TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs under this extension. Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, DHS recognizes that not all re-registrants will receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on November 2, 2017. However, provided a South Sudan TPS beneficiary timely re-registers and properly files an application for an EAD during the 60-day re-registration period, his or her EAD will be automatically extended for an additional period not to exceed 180 days from the date the current EAD expires, i.e., through May 1, 2018. This notice explains how TPS beneficiaries and their employers may determine which EADs are automatically extended and their impact on Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and the E-Verify processes. Approximately 70 South Sudan TPS beneficiaries are expected to file for re-registration under the extension.

Individuals who have a pending initial South Sudan TPS application will not need to file a new Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821). DHS provides additional instructions in this Notice for individuals whose TPS applications remain pending and who would like to obtain an EAD valid through May 2, 2019.Start Printed Page 44206

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

  • TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country designated for TPS under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), or to eligible persons without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country.
  • During the TPS designation period and so long as a TPS beneficiary continues to meet the requirements of TPS, he or she is eligible to remain in the United States, may not be removed, and is authorized to work and obtain an EAD.
  • TPS beneficiaries may also apply for and be granted travel authorization as a matter of discretion.
  • The granting of TPS does not result in or lead to lawful permanent resident status.
  • To qualify for TPS, beneficiaries must meet the eligibility standards at INA section 244(c)(2), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(2).
  • When the Secretary terminates a country's TPS designation, beneficiaries return to the same immigration status they maintained before TPS, if any (unless that status has since expired or been terminated), or to any other lawfully obtained immigration status they received while registered for TPS that is still valid on the date TPS terminates.

When was South Sudan designated for TPS?

On October 13, 2011, the Secretary designated South Sudan for TPS, effective November 3, 2011, based on an ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions within South Sudan. See Designation of Republic of South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status, 76 FR 63629 (Oct. 13, 2011). Following the initial designation, the Secretary has extended and redesignated South Sudan for TPS three times. Most recently, in 2016, the Secretary both extended South Sudan's designation and redesignated South Sudan for TPS for 18 months through November 2, 2017. See Extension and Redesignation of South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status, 81 FR 4051 (Jan. 25, 2016).

What authority does the Secretary have to extend the designation of South Sudan for TPS?

Section 244(b)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1), authorizes the Secretary, after consultation with appropriate agencies of the U.S. Government (Government), to designate a foreign state (or part thereof) for TPS if the Secretary determines that certain country conditions exist.[1] The Secretary may then grant TPS to eligible nationals of that foreign state (or eligible aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country). See INA section 244(a)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A).

At least 60 days before the expiration of a country's TPS designation or extension, the Secretary, after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, must review the conditions in a foreign state designated for TPS to determine whether the conditions for the TPS designation continue to be met. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). If the Secretary does not determine that a foreign state no longer meets the conditions for TPS designation, the designation will be extended for an additional period of 6 months or, in the Secretary's discretion, 12, or 18 months. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A), (C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A), (C). If the Secretary determines that the foreign state no longer meets the conditions for TPS designation, the Secretary must terminate the designation. See INA section 244(b)(3)(B), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(B).

Why is the Secretary extending the TPS designation for South Sudan through May 2, 2019?

DHS and the Department of State (DOS) have reviewed conditions in South Sudan. Based on the reviews and after consulting with DOS, the Secretary has determined that an 18-month extension is warranted because the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that prompted the May 3, 2016 redesignation have persisted, and, in many cases, deteriorated.

South Sudan is engulfed in an ongoing civil war marked by brutal violence against civilians, egregious human rights violations and abuses, and a humanitarian disaster on a devastating scale across the country. In July 2016, following a failed peace agreement, fighting broke out in Juba between the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army—In Opposition (SPLA-IO). During and after the battle, there were widespread attacks on civilians, including ethnically based killings and sexual assaults, resulting in significant displacement. After the battle ended in Juba, violence escalated and expanded to other parts of the country, with the government's counter-insurgency operations reportedly entailing mass atrocities and destruction of villages.

Women and children have been particularly affected by the conflict. Sexual and gender-based violence is widespread, and rape is used widely as a weapon of war. In March 2017, the United Nations Human Rights Council reported that there had been a 61 percent increase in the number of incidents of sexual or gender-based violence reported between 2015 and 2016. The conflict has deprived children of education and basic health services, and left them at risk of being killed, abducted, sexually assaulted, and recruited as child soldiers.

South Sudan is the largest source of displacement in Africa. At the end of August 2017, approximately 3.9 million people had been displaced, including 2 million who fled to neighboring states and 1.9 million internally displaced persons, of which at least 50 percent were children.

South Sudan is experiencing an unprecedented level of food insecurity due to the protracted violence, displacement, and the lack of access for humanitarian actors to deliver aid. As of August 2017, about 50 percent of the population (6 million people) was estimated to be acutely food insecure.

In addition to the ongoing conflict, South Sudan is experiencing a severe economic crisis. In 2016, the South Sudanese pound depreciated 70 percent against the dollar. Year-on-year inflation from January 2016 to January 2017 was around 400 percent.

Based upon this review and after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, the Secretary has determined that:

  • The conditions that prompted the 2016 redesignation of South Sudan for TPS continue to be met. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A) and (C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A) and (C).
  • There continues to be an ongoing armed conflict in South Sudan and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of South Sudanese nationals (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan) to South Sudan would pose a serious threat to their personal safety. See INA section 244(b)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A).
  • There continue to be extraordinary and temporary conditions in South Sudan that prevent South Sudanese nationals (or aliens having no Start Printed Page 44207nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan) from returning to South Sudan in safety. See INA section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
  • It is not contrary to the national interest of the United States to permit South Sudanese (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan) who meet the eligibility requirements of TPS to remain in the United States temporarily. See INA section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
  • The designation of South Sudan for TPS should be extended for an 18-month period from November 3, 2017, through May 2, 2019. See INA section 244(b)(3)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).

Notice of Extension of the TPS Designation of South Sudan

By the authority vested in me as Secretary under INA section 244, 8 U.S.C. 1254a, I have determined, after consultation with the appropriate Government agencies, that the conditions that prompted the redesignation of TPS for South Sudan in 2016 not only continue to be met, but have significantly deteriorated. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). On the basis of this determination, I am extending the existing designation of TPS for South Sudan for 18 months, from November 3, 2017, through May 2, 2019. See INA section 244(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C).

Start Signature

Elaine C. Duke,

Acting Secretary.

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Required Application Forms and Application Fees to Register or Re-Register for TPS

To file a late initial registration or re-register for TPS based on the designation of South Sudan, you must submit each of the following applications:

1. Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821):

  • If you are filing a late initial application, you must pay the fee (or request a fee waiver) for the Form I-821. See 8 CFR 244.2(f)(2) and 244.6.
  • If you are filing an application for re-registration, you do not need to pay the fee for the Form I-821. See 8 CFR 244.17.

2. Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765):

  • If you are applying for late initial registration and want an EAD, you must pay the fee (or request a fee waiver) for the Form I-765 only if you are age 14 through 65. You do not need to pay the Form I-765 fee if you are under the age of 14 or are 66 and older, applying for late initial registration and you want an EAD.
  • If you are applying for re-registration and want an EAD, you must pay the fee (or request a fee waiver) for the Form I-765, regardless of your age.
  • If you are applying for late initial registration or re-registration and do not want an EAD, you do not have to pay the Form I-765 fee.
  • If you do not want to request an EAD now, you may also file Form I-765 later to request an EAD and pay the fee (or request a fee waiver), provided that you still have TPS or a pending TPS application. Your EAD application will be considered timely filed even if the date on your current TPS-related EAD has expired. But unless you timely re-register and properly file an EAD application, the validity of your current EAD will end on November 2, 2017. Accordingly, you must also properly file your EAD application during the 60-day re-registration period for your current employment authorization document to be automatically extended for 180 days (i.e., through May 1, 2018). You are strongly encouraged to properly file your EAD application as early as possible during the 60-day re-registration period to avoid lapses in your employment authorization and to ensure that you receive your Form I-797C, Notice of Action, prior to November 2, 2017.

You must submit both completed Forms I-821 and I-765 together. If you are unable to pay for the application fee and/or biometrics fee, you may complete a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or submit a personal letter requesting a fee waiver with satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the application forms and fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/​tps. Fees for the Form I-821, the Form I-765, and biometric services are also described in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1)(i).

Biometric Services Fee

Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are required for all applicants 14 years of age or older. Those applicants must submit a biometric services fee. As previously stated, if you are unable to pay for the biometric services fee, you may apply for a fee waiver by completing a Form I-912 or by submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the biometric services fee, please see the Instructions to Form I-821 or visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. If necessary, you may be required to visit an Application Support Center (ASC) to have your biometrics captured. In such case, USCIS will send you an ASC scheduling notice.

Re-Filing a Re-Registration TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of a Fee Waiver Request

You should file as soon as possible within the 60-day period so that USCIS can process your application and issue any EAD promptly. Properly filing early will also allow you time to re-file your application before the deadline and receive a Form I-797C demonstrating your EAD's automatic extension, should USCIS deny your fee waiver request. If, however, you receive a denial of your fee waiver request and you are unable to re-file by the re-registration deadline, you may still re-file your application. This situation will be reviewed to determine whether you have established good cause for late re-registration. However, you are urged to re-file within 45 days of the date on any USCIS fee waiver denial notice, if at all possible. See INA section 244(c)(3)(C); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(3)(C); 8 CFR 244.17(b). For more information on good cause for late re-registration, visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/​tps. Note: Although a re-registering TPS beneficiary age 14 and older must pay the biometric services fee (but not the initial Form I-821 fee) when filing a TPS re-registration application, you may decide to wait to request an EAD, and therefore not pay the Form I-765 fee until after USCIS has approved your TPS re-registration, if you are eligible. If you choose to do this, you would file the Form I-821 with the biometrics services fee, if applicable, (or request a fee waiver) and the Form I-765 without the fee and without requesting an EAD.

Mailing Information

Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in Table 1.Start Printed Page 44208

Table 1—Mailing Addresses

If . . .Mail to . . .
You are applying through the U.S. Postal ServiceUSCIS, Attn: TPS South Sudan, P.O. Box 6943, Chicago, IL 60680-6943.
For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:USCIS, Attn: TPS South Sudan, 131 S. Dearborn Street, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60603-5517.

If you were granted TPS by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and wish to request an EAD or are re-registering for the first time following a grant of TPS by an IJ or the BIA, please mail your application to the appropriate mailing address in Table 1. When re-registering and/or requesting an EAD based on an IJ/BIA grant of TPS, please include a copy of the IJ or BIA order granting you TPS with your application. This will aid in the verification of your grant of TPS and processing of your application, as USCIS may not have received records of your grant of TPS by either the IJ or the BIA.

Supporting Documents

Do I need to submit additional supporting documentation when reregistering for TPS?

If one or more of the questions listed in Part 4, Question 2 of the Form I-821 applies to you, then you must submit an explanation on a separate sheet(s) of paper and/or additional documentation.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

How can I get information on the status of my EAD request?

To get case status information about your TPS application, including the status of a request for an EAD, you can check Case Status Online, available at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). If your Form I-765 has been pending for more than 90 days, and you still need assistance, you may request an EAD inquiry appointment with USCIS by using the InfoPass system at https://infopass.uscis.gov. However, we strongly encourage you first to check Case Status Online or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center for assistance before making an InfoPass appointment.

Am I eligible to receive an extension of my current EAD while I wait for my new one to arrive?

Provided that you currently have a South Sudan TPS-based EAD, you may be eligible to have the validity of your current EAD extended for 180 days (through May 1, 2018) if you:

  • Are a national of South Sudan (or an alien having no nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan);
  • Received an EAD under the designation of South Sudan for TPS;
  • Have an EAD with a marked expiration date of November 2, 2017, bearing the notation “A-12” or “C-19” on the face of the card under “Category;”
  • Timely re-registered for TPS during the 60-day re-registration period; and
  • Properly filed an application for an EAD during the 60-day re-registration period.

You must timely re-register for TPS in accordance with the procedures described in this Notice if you would like to maintain your TPS and in order to have the validity of your current EAD extended by 180 days. You are strongly encouraged to file your EAD renewal application as early as possible during the 60-day re-registration period to avoid lapses in documentation of your employment authorization.

When hired, what documentation may I show to my employer as proof of employment authorization and identity when completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)?

You can find a list of acceptable document choices on the “Lists of Acceptable Documents” for Form I-9. You can find additional detailed information about Form I-9 on the USCIS I-9 Central Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/​I-9Central. Employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new employees by using Form I-9. Within three days of hire, an employee must present evidence of identity and employment authorization to his or her employer by presenting documentation sufficient to satisfy Form I-9 requirements.

You may present any document from List A (which provides evidence of both identity and employment authorization), or one document from List B (which provides evidence of your identity) together with one document from List C (which is evidence of employment authorization), or you may present an acceptable receipt for List A, List B, or List C documents as described in the Form I-9 Instructions. An EAD is an acceptable document under List A. Employers may not reject a document based on a future expiration date.

If your EAD has an expiration date of November 2, 2017, and states “A-12” or “C-19” under “Category,” and you timely and properly filed an EAD renewal application during the 60-day re-registration period, you may choose to present your EAD to your employer together with the Form I-797C Notice of Action (showing the qualifying eligibility category of either A12 or C19) as a List A document that provides evidence of your identity and employment authorization for Form I-9 through May 1, 2018, unless your TPS has been finally withdrawn or your request for TPS has been finally denied. See the subsection titled, “How do my employer and I complete the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) using an automatically extended EAD for a new job?” for further information.

To minimize confusion over this extension at the time of hire, you should explain to your employer that your EAD has been automatically extended through May 1, 2018. You may also provide your employer with a copy of this Federal Register Notice which explains how your EAD could be automatically extended; however, this Federal Register Notice is not acceptable evidence that your EAD has been automatically extended. As an alternative to presenting evidence of your automatically extended EAD, you may choose to present any other acceptable document from List A, a combination of one selection from List B and one selection from List C, or a valid receipt.

What documentation may I show my employer for my Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) if I am already employed but my current TPS-related EAD is set to expire?

Even though you may be eligible to have your EAD automatically extended, your employer will need to ask you about your continued employment authorization no later than before you start work on November 3, 2017 to meet its responsibilities for Form I-9. You Start Printed Page 44209will need to present your employer with evidence that you are still authorized to work. Once presented, you may correct your employment authorization expiration date in Section 1, and your employer should correct the employment authorization document expiration date in Section 2 of Form I-9. See the subsection titled, “What corrections should my current employer and I make to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) if my employment authorization has been automatically extended?” for further information. In addition, you may also show this Notice to your employer to explain what to do for Form I-9.

When you properly file your Form I-765 to renew your current EAD, you will receive a USCIS receipt notice (Form I-797C). The receipt notice will state that your current “A-12” or “C-19” coded EAD is automatically extended for 180 days. You may show this receipt notice to your employer along with your EAD to confirm your EAD has been automatically extended through May 1, 2018, unless your TPS has been finally withdrawn or your request for TPS has been finally denied. You may also show this Federal Register Notice to your employer to minimize confusion; however, this Federal Register Notice is not acceptable evidence that your EAD has been automatically extended. To avoid delays in receiving the Form I-797C and a lapse in your employment authorization, you should file your EAD renewal application as early as possible during the re-registration period.

The last date of the automatic EAD extension is May 1, 2018. Before you start work on May 2, 2018, your employer must reverify your employment authorization. At that time, you must present any document from List A or any document from List C on Form I-9 Lists of Acceptable Documents, or an acceptable List A or List C receipt described in the Form I-9 Instructions to reverify employment authorization. Your employer should either complete Section 3 of the Form I-9 originally completed for you; or if this section has already been completed or if the version of Form I-9 has expired (check the date in the bottom left-hand corner of the form), complete Section 3 of a new Form I-9, ensuring it is the most current version. Note that your employer may not specify which List A or List C document you must present and cannot reject an acceptable receipt.

Can my employer require that I provide any other documentation to prove my status, such as proof of my South Sudanese citizenship?

No. When completing Form I-9, including reverifying employment authorization, employers must accept any documentation that appears on the appropriate “Lists of Acceptable Documents” for Form I-9 that reasonably appears to be genuine and that relates to you, or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt. Employers may not request documentation that does not appear on the “Lists of Acceptable Documents.” Therefore, employers may not request proof of South Sudanese citizenship or proof of re-registration for TPS when completing Form I-9 for new hires or reverifying the employment authorization of current employees. If the expired EAD with category A-12 or C-19 is presented with the Form I-797C Notice of Action as described herein, an employer should accept this document combination as a valid List A document so long as the EAD reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the employee. Refer to the Note to Employees section of this Notice for important information about your rights if your employer rejects lawful documentation, requires additional documentation, or otherwise discriminates against you based on your citizenship or immigration status, or your national origin.

How do my employer and I complete Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) on the basis of automatically extended employment authorization for a new job?

As proof of the automatic extension of your employment authorization, you may present your expired EAD with category A-12 or C-19 in combination with the Form I-797C Notice of Action showing that the EAD renewal application was timely filed and that the qualifying eligibility category is either A-12 or C-19. Unless your TPS has been finally withdrawn or your request for TPS has been finally denied, this document combination is considered an unexpired Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) under List A. When completing Form I-9 for a new job you are starting before May 2, 2018, you and your employer should do the following:

1. For Section 1, you should:

a. Check “An alien authorized to work until” and enter the date that is 180 days from the date your current EAD expires (May 1, 2018) as the “expiration date, if applicable, mm/dd/yyyy”; and

b. Enter your Alien Number/USCIS number or A-Number where indicated (your EAD or other document from DHS will have your USCIS Number or A-Number printed on it; the USCIS number is the same as your A-Number without the A prefix).

2. When completing Section 2, employers should:

a. Determine if the EAD is auto-extended for 180 days by ensuring:

  • It is in category A-12 or C-19;
  • The “received date” on Form I-797 is on or before the end of the 60-day re-registration period stated in this Notice; and
  • The category code on the EAD is the same category code on Form I-797C, noting that employers should consider category codes A-12 and C-19 to be the same category code.

b. Write in the document title;

c. Enter the issuing authority;

d. Provide the document number; and

e. Insert May 1, 2018, the date that is 180 days from the date the current EAD expires.

By the start of work on May 2, 2018, employers must reverify the employee's employment authorization in Section 3 of the Form I-9.

What corrections should my current employer and I make to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) if my employment authorization has been automatically extended?

If you are an existing employee who presented a TPS-related EAD that was valid when you first started your job and your employment authorization has now been automatically extended because you timely and properly filed a new application for employment authorization during the 60-day re-registration period, you may present your expired EAD with category A-12 or C-19 in combination with the Form I-797C Notice of Action. The Form I-797C should show that the EAD renewal application was timely filed and that the qualifying eligibility category is either A-12 or C-19. To avoid confusion, you may also provide your employer a copy of this Federal Register Notice; however, this Federal Register Notice is not acceptable evidence that your EAD has been automatically extended. Your employer may need to re-inspect your current EAD if your employer does not have a copy of the EAD on file. You and your employer should correct your previously completed Form I-9 as follows:

1. For Section 1, you may:

a. Draw a line through the expiration date in Section 1;

b. Write the date that is 180 days from the date your current EAD expires (May Start Printed Page 442101, 2018) above the previous date (November 2, 2017); and

c. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 1.

2. For Section 2, employers should:

a. Determine if the EAD is auto-extended for 180 days by ensuring:

  • It is in category A12 or C19;
  • The “received date” on Form I-797 is on or before the end of the 60-day re-registration period stated in this Notice; and
  • The category code on the EAD is the same category code on Form I-797C, noting that employers should consider category codes A-12 and C-19 to be the same category code.

b. Draw a line through the expiration date written in Section 2;

c. Write the date that is 180 days from the date the employee's current EAD expires (May 1, 2018) above the previous date (November 2, 2017); and

d. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 2.

Note:

This is not considered a reverification. Employers do not need to complete Section 3 until either the 180-day extension has ended or the employee presents a new document to show continued employment authorization, whichever is sooner.

By May 2, 2018, when the employee's automatically extended employment authorization has ended, employers must reverify the employee's employment authorization in Section 3.

If I am an employer enrolled in E-Verify, how do I verify a new employee whose EAD has been automatically extended?

Employers may create a case in E-Verify for a new employee using the Form I-797C receipt information provided on Form I-9. The receipt number entered as the document number on Form I-9 should be entered into the document number field in E-Verify.

If I am an employer enrolled in E-Verify, what do I do when I receive a “Work Authorization Documents Expiration” alert for an automatically extended EAD?

E-Verify automated the verification process for employees whose TPS-related EAD was automatically extended. If you have an employee who is a TPS beneficiary who provided a TPS-related EAD when he or she first started working for you, you will receive a “Work Authorization Documents Expiring” case alert when the auto-extension period for this EAD is about to expire. This indicates that you should update Form I-9 in accordance with the instructions above. By the employee's start of work on May 2, 2018, employment authorization must be reverified in Section 3. Employers should not use E-Verify for reverification.

Note to All Employers

Employers are reminded that the laws requiring proper employment eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair immigration-related employment practices remain in full force. This Notice does not supersede or in any way limit applicable employment verification rules and policy guidance, including those rules setting forth reverification requirements. For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employers may call USCIS at 888-464-4218 (TTY 877-875-6028) or email USCIS at I9Central@dhs.gov. Calls and emails are accepted in English and many other languages. For questions about avoiding discrimination during the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify), employers may call the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) (formerly the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices) Employer Hotline at 800-255-8155 (TTY 800-237-2515). IER offers language interpretation in numerous languages. Employers may also email IER at IER@usdoj.gov.

Note to Employees

For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employees may call USCIS at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028) or email USCIS at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls are accepted in English, Spanish, and many other languages. Employees or applicants may also call the IER Worker Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515) for information regarding employment discrimination based upon citizenship, immigration status, or national origin, including discrimination related to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and E-Verify. The IER Worker Hotline provides language interpretation in numerous languages.

To comply with the law, employers must accept any document or combination of documents from the Lists of Acceptable Documents if the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the employee, or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt as described in the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) Instructions. Employers may not require extra or additional documentation beyond what is required for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) completion. Further, employers participating in E-Verify who receive an E-Verify case result of “Tentative Nonconfirmation” (TNC) must promptly inform employees of the TNC and give such employees an opportunity to contest the TNC. A TNC case result means that the information entered into E-Verify from Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) differs from Federal or state government records.

Employers may not terminate, suspend, delay training, withhold pay, lower pay, or take any adverse action against an employee based on the employee's decision to contest a TNC or because the case is still pending with E-Verify. A Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) case result is received when E-Verify cannot verify an employee's employment eligibility. An employer may terminate employment based on a case result of FNC. Work-authorized employees who receive an FNC may call USCIS for assistance at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028). For more information about E-Verify-related discrimination or to report an employer for discrimination in the E-Verify process based on citizenship, immigration status, or national origin, contact IER's Worker Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515). Additional information about proper nondiscriminatory Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and E-Verify procedures is available on the IER Web site at https://www.justice.gov/​ier and the USCIS Web site at http://www.dhs.gov/​E-verify.

Note Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as Departments of Motor Vehicles)

While Federal Government agencies must follow the guidelines laid out by the Federal Government, state and local government agencies establish their own rules and guidelines when granting certain benefits. Each state may have different laws, requirements, and determinations about what documents you need to provide to prove eligibility for certain benefits. Whether you are applying for a Federal, state, or local government benefit, you may need to provide the government agency with documents that show you are a TPS beneficiary and/or show you are authorized to work based on TPS. Examples of such documents are:

(1) Your current EAD;

(2) A copy of your receipt notice (Form I-797C) for your application to renew your current EAD providing an automatic extension of your currently expired or expiring EAD;Start Printed Page 44211

(3) A copy of your Application for Temporary Protected Status Notice of Action (Form I-797) for this re-registration; and

(4) A copy of your past or current Application for Temporary Protected Status Notice of Action (Form I-797), if you received one from USCIS.

Check with the government agency regarding which document(s) the agency will accept. Some benefit-granting agencies use the USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program to confirm the current immigration status of applicants for public benefits. In most cases, SAVE provides an automated electronic response to benefit-granting agencies within seconds, but, occasionally, verification can be delayed. You can check the status of your SAVE verification by using CaseCheck at the following link: https://save.uscis.gov/​casecheck/​, then by clicking the “Check Your Case” button. CaseCheck is a free service that lets you follow the progress of your SAVE verification using your date of birth and one immigration identifier number. If an agency has denied your application based solely or in part on a SAVE response, the agency must offer you the opportunity to appeal the decision in accordance with the agency's procedures. If the agency has received and acted upon or will act upon a SAVE verification and you do not believe the response is correct, you may make an InfoPass appointment for an in-person interview at a local USCIS office. Detailed information on how to make corrections, make an appointment, or submit a written request to correct records under the Freedom of Information Act can be found on the SAVE Web site at http://www.uscis.gov/​save, then by choosing “For Benefits Applicants” from the menu on the left, selecting “Save Resources,” followed by “SAVE Fact Sheet for Benefit Applicants.”

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  As of March 1, 2003, in accordance with section 1517 of title XV of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, any reference to the Attorney General in a provision of the INA describing functions transferred from the Department of Justice to DHS “shall be deemed to refer to the Secretary” of Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 557 (codifying the Homeland Security Act of 2002, tit. XV, section 1517).

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[FR Doc. 2017-20174 Filed 9-19-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9111-97-P