New Immigration Law for Work Permits

USCIS is funded primarily by fees paid by applicants from various immigration departments. The agency estimated Tuesday that it would charge an additional $9.7 million in fees per year under the new rule. If you think your employer misused documents or reviewed your work papers when they shouldn`t have, call an immigrant rights group or worker centre, or contact your union representative if you are part of a union. You can also call the Office of the Special Advisor on Unfair Immigration Employment Practices (OSC), which is part of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. OSC assists immigrant workers whose employers have discriminated against them when they demonstrate they are authorized to work in the United States. The OSC is NOT part of immigration and can often help workers by contacting their employers to correct inappropriate behaviour. No one who calls the OSC Helpline is referred to immigration authorities. If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your immigration status or national origin, you may be able to sue your employer. Your union or a lawyer from an immigrant rights group may be able to help you with this charge.

If you have provided documents proving that you are a lawful permanent resident (you have a green card), an employer should not ask for any other documents. For example, just because your green card has an expiration date only means that your card needs to be renewed, not that your work permit has expired. Your employer should not ask for your documents again, as your status allows you to work permanently in the United States. If you`ve been granted asylum, you have the right to work indefinitely, so it`s a good idea to submit documents that meet Form I-9 but don`t have an expiration date. For example, you can present an ID card or driver`s license to verify your identity, and an unrestricted Social Security card that bears only your name and Social Security number (without the words “valid for work only with DHS permission”). The rule does not apply to waiting periods for applicants applying for an initial work permit permit or for recipients of a deferred measure for the arrival of children who also face interruptions in employment due to expired documents. By February, the backlog of immigration applications had reached a total of 9.5 million applications, up from 5.7 million at the end of 2019. Taking advantage of a loophole in the law, the new policy will create a lower review threshold that will allow all illegal aliens with a pending U visa application to work legally for years before USCIS substantially reviews the legal eligibility petition. Under Section 214(p)(6), the Secretary of DHS may issue a work permit to “any alien who has a pending application in good faith.” Despite this legal provision, USCIS has not had a “bona fide” determination process to date. The new announcement extends by 180 days the extension announced in November. About 260,000 immigrants are expected to lose their work permits over the next 18 months. It will also give the agency more time to clarify pending candidates, the agency said in a statement.

Your employer must accept a receipt for a replacement document if your original document is stolen, damaged or lost. If you have problems (for example, if your employer won`t let you continue working), call the OSC helpline above. Since 1986, immigration law has required employers to hire only workers approved by the U.S. government to work in that country. Employers are required by law to verify (verify) the identity and eligibility of each employee to work. For this reason, all workers, not just immigrants, must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9). Some employers also use E-Verify, a voluntary Internet program that allows participating employers to electronically verify the eligibility of all new employees to work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). Employers enrolled in E-Verify should only use the electronic system after the employee is hired and the I-9 process has been completed. Some employers are also enrolled in the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS), which is administered by the SSA but does not verify an individual`s work permit. The SSNVS can only verify that the social security number provided by the employee matches the SSA records. “It`s kind of a band-aid solution,” said Lily Axelrod, an attorney at Siskind Susser PC.

“USCIS needs to think of creative solutions to reduce their workload, not just give themselves an excuse to take even more time than they already do.” Certain non-citizens located in the United States may file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with USCIS to apply for a work permit and EAD. Other non-citizens whose immigration status allows them to work in the United States without restrictions may also use Form I-765 to apply for an EAD that includes such authorization. Note to U.S. applicants: If you are a principal applicant for non-immigrants U, you are eligible to work on the basis of your status. After approving the underlying application for non-immigrant status, we will issue you an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). This means you don`t need to fill out Form I-765. In some cases, an employer must require employees to resubmit their work authorization documents (after they have already filed Form I-9 when you were hired) if the work authorization document you provided had an expiration date. This is called “reverification” because the employer checks again to see if you are still eligible to work. For example, if you submitted a work permit with an expiration date no later than that expiration date at the time of your hiring, the employer must ask you to prove that you are still authorized to work in the United States. Again, it is up to you to choose the documents you submit to prove that you can continue working. That is, the employer cannot require you to present another work permit with the new expiry date as long as you have other documents proving your additional work permit. Your employer must ask you to complete Form I-9 within 3 days of starting work.

Form I-9 lists the documents you can provide to prove your identity and eligibility for employment. You, the employee, not the employer, have the right to choose which of the listed documents you wish to present to the employer. It is illegal for your employer to ask you to provide only one specific document or for you to provide more documents than necessary. For example, your employer may not require you to provide a green card if you have other documents listed on Form I-9 indicating that you are authorized to work in the United States. The employer could engage in a type of discrimination called “abuse of documents” if they do not allow you to choose which documents to show. Talk to an immigrant rights organization, a workers` centre, your union, or call the number below if you think your employer is violating this law. You can also contact the Office of the Special Advocate for Unfair Employment Practices Related to Immigration (OSC) at 1-800-255-7688 or 1-800-237-2515 to report possible discrimination by an employer. Note that if your employer participates in E-Verify, you must provide your Social Security number to your employer and the document you provide to establish identity must include a photo. For several years, USCIS has been in a precarious financial situation that has hindered the efficient processing of case numbers.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these challenges in 2020, in addition to a hiring freeze and the threat of a furlough, resulting in staff reductions and significantly reduced capacity. In 2021, before USCIS could recover from these tax and operational impacts, there was a sudden and dramatic increase in initial and renewal EAD filings, as detailed in the ISF. “As USCIS works to process pending EAD cases, the agency has determined that the current 180-day automatic work permit extension is currently inadequate,” said USCIS Director Your M. Jaddou. “This temporary arrangement will allow non-citizens who would otherwise be eligible for automatic renewal to keep their jobs and provide vital support to their families, while avoiding further disruption to U.S. employers. According to USCIS data, about 2 million people apply for new or renewed work permits each year. The process typically takes five to seven months, so many immigrants are unable to feed themselves and their families in the meantime.