Effective Nov. 21, 2022, USCIS announced that certain Afghan and Ukrainian beneficiaries paroled into the United States are employment authorized incident to parole. These beneficiaries do not need USCIS approval of work authorization to begin working in the United States. As USCIS processing times on employment authorization documents (EADs) for these beneficiaries have taken as long as 6-8 months, this is a welcome development for the refugees seeking to work in the United States.
This updated policy guidance applies to the following individuals, if their parole has not been terminated:
- Afghan parolees whose unexpired Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, contains a class of admission of “OAR.”
- Ukrainian parolees whose unexpired Form I-94 contains a class of admission of “UHP”; and
- Ukrainian parolees whose unexpired Form I-94 contains a class of admission of “DT” issued between Feb. 24, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2023, and indicates Ukraine as the country of citizenship on the document.
Work authorization for these parolees is evidenced by an unexpired Form I-94 which serves as an acceptable receipt demonstrating their identity and employment authorization for the purposes of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The receipt satisfies the Form I-9 requirement for 90 days from the date of hire (or in the case of reverification, the date employment authorization expires).
Within 90 days of hire, the parolee must provide an employer with either:
- An unexpired Form I-765, Employment Authorization Document (EAD); or
- An unrestricted Social Security card and a List B identity document from the Form I-9 Lists of Acceptable Documents.
USCIS also announced that effective Nov. 21, 2022 it is exempting the fee to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization of initial EADs for those paroled into the United States under United for Ukraine when filing by mail (Afghan parolees under OAW are already exempt from this fee for an initial paper-filed Form I-765 and a replacement EAD through Sept. 30, 2023). Starting Dec. 5, 2022, both Afghan and Ukrainian applicants may file fee exempt Form I-765 online.