[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 165 (Thursday, August 25, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53145-53148]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-21842]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2514-11; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2011-0014]
RIN 1615-ZB09


Filing Procedures for Employment Authorization and Automatic 
Extension of Existing Employment Authorization Documents for Liberians 
Provided Deferred Enforced Departure

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

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: On August 16, 2011, President Obama issued a memorandum to the 
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano directing her to extend 
for an additional 18 months the deferred enforced departure (DED) of 
certain Liberians and to provide for work authorization during that 
period. The DED extension runs from September 30, 2011, through March 
31, 2013. This notice provides instructions for eligible Liberians on 
how to apply for the full 18-month extension of employment 
authorization. Finally, this notice provides instructions for DED-
eligible Liberians on how to apply for permission to travel outside the 
United States during the 18-month DED period.
    USCIS will issue new employment authorization documents (EADs) with 
a March 31, 2013 expiration date to Liberians whose DED has been 
extended under the presidential memorandum and who apply for EADs under 
this extension. Given the timeframes involved with processing EAD 
applications, DHS recognizes that all DED-eligible Liberians may not 
receive new EADs until after their current EADs expire on September 30, 
2011. Accordingly, this Notice automatically extends the validity of 
DED-related EADs that have an expiration date of September 30, 2011, 
for 6 months, through March 31, 2012, and explains how Liberians 
covered under DED and their employers may determine which EADs are 
automatically extended and their impact on Form I-9 and E-Verify 
processes.

DATES: This notice is effective October 1, 2011. The 6-month automatic 
extension of employment authorization for Liberians who are eligible 
for DED, including the extension of their EADs as specified in this 
notice, is effective on October 1, 2011. This automatic extension will 
expire on March 31, 2012. The 18-month extension of DED is valid 
through March 31, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
     For further information on DED, including guidance on the 
application process for EADs and additional information on eligibility, 
please visit the DED Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps and choose 
``Deferred Enforced Departure'' from the menu on the left. You can find 
specific information about DED for Liberia by selecting ``DED Granted 
Country: Liberia'' from the menu on the left of the TPS or DED Web 
page. From the Liberian page, you can select the Liberian DED Questions 
& Answers from the menu on the right for further information.
     You can also contact the DED Operations Program Manager at 
the Status and Family 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) 272-1533 (this is not a toll-free number). Note: The 
phone number provided here is solely for questions regarding this DED 
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

[[Page 53146]]

at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS 
National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-
1833).
     Further information will also be available at local USCIS 
offices upon publication of this Notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Presidential Memorandum Extending DED for Certain Liberians

    In accordance with his constitutional authority to conduct the 
foreign relations of the United States, President Obama has directed 
that Liberians (and eligible persons without nationality who last 
resided in Liberia) who are physically present in the United States and 
who held TPS on September 30, 2007, and are under a grant of DED 
through September 30, 2011, be provided DED for an additional 18-month 
period after their current DED status ends. See Memorandum from 
President Obama to the Secretary of Homeland Security dated August 16, 
2011 (``Presidential Memorandum''). The President also directed the 
Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) to implement the necessary 
steps to authorize employment authorization for eligible Liberians for 
18 months from October 1, 2011, through March 31, 2013.

Employment Authorization and Filing Requirements

How will I know if I am eligible for employment authorization under the 
Presidential Memorandum that extended DED for certain Liberians for 18 
months?

    The DED extension and the procedures for employment authorization 
in this notice apply to Liberian nationals (and persons without 
nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia) who:
     Are physically present in the United States;
     Have continuously resided in the United States since 
October 1, 2002;
     Held TPS on September 30, 2007; and
     Are under a grant of DED through September 30, 2011.
    The above eligibility criteria are laid out in the Presidential 
Memorandum. This DED extension does not include any individual:
     Who would be ineligible for TPS for the reasons provided 
in section 244(c)(2)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the 
Act), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(2)(B);
     Whose removal the Secretary determines is in the interest 
of the United States;
     Whose presence or activities in the United States the 
Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have 
potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United 
States;
     Who has voluntarily returned to Liberia or his or her 
country of last habitual residence outside the United States;
     Who was deported, excluded, or removed prior to August 16, 
2011; or
     Who is subject to extradition.

What will I need to file if I am covered by DED and would like to have 
evidence of employment authorization?

    If you are covered under DED for Liberia, and would like evidence 
of your employment authorization during the 18-month extension of DED, 
you must apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) on Form 
I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. If you wish to have 
work authorization valid through March 31, 2013, you can file Form I-
765 starting August 25, 2011. If you have a DED-related EAD that is 
valid through September 30, 2011, you must file Form I-765 as soon as 
possible to avoid gaps in work authorization. Please carefully follow 
the Form I-765 instructions when completing the application for an EAD. 
When filing the Form I-765, you must:
     Indicate that you are eligible for DED by putting 
``(a)(11)'' in response to Question 16 on Form I-765;
     Include a copy of your last Form I-797, Notice of Action, 
showing that you were approved for TPS as of September 30, 2007, if 
such copy is available. Please note that evidence of TPS as of 
September 30, 2007, is necessary to show that you were covered under 
the previous DED for Liberia through September 30, 2011.; and
     Submit the Form I-765 application fee.

The Form I-765 application fee is required for individuals covered 
under DED who request an EAD based on the fee rule change of September 
24, 2010. See 75 FR 58962; see also 8 CFR 103.7(b)(HH) (states that 
there is a fee for Form I-765 and what that fee is), 274a.13(a) (states 
that an alien authorized to be employed under section 274a.12(a)(11) 
must file a Form I-765), and 274a.12(a)(12) (which is the employment 
authorization classification for those covered under Temporary 
Protected Status and, by extension, deferred enforced departure). If 
you are unable to pay, you may apply for an application fee waiver by 
completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or submitting a 
personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing satisfactory 
supporting documentation

How will I know if I will need to obtain biometrics?

    If biometrics are required to produce the secure EAD, you will be 
notified by USCIS and scheduled for an appointment at a USCIS 
Application Support Center.

Where do I submit my completed Form I-765?

    Please submit your completed Form I-765 and supporting 
documentation to: USCIS, Attn: DED Liberia, P.O. Box 8677, Chicago, IL 
60680-8677.

Can I file my Form I-765 electronically?

    No. Electronic filing is not available for filing Form I-765 based 
on DED.

Extension of Employment Authorization and EADs

May I request an interim EAD at my local office?

    No. Local USCIS offices will not issue interim EADs to individuals 
eligible for DED under the Presidential Memorandum.

Am I eligible to receive an automatic 6-month extension of my current 
EAD from September 30 through March 31, 2012?

    You are eligible for an automatic 6-month extension of your EAD if 
you are a national of Liberia (or person having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Liberia), and you are currently covered by DED 
through September 30, 2011.
    This automatic extension covers EADs issued on Form I-766, 
Employment Authorization Document, bearing an expiration date of 
September 30, 2011. These EADs must also bear the notation ``A-11'' on 
the face of the card under ``Category.''

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 page 5 of the 
Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9. 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 proof of identity and employment authorization to his or 
her employer.
    You may present any document from List A (reflecting both your 
identity and employment authorization), or one document from List B 
(reflecting

[[Page 53147]]

identity) together with one document from List C (reflecting employment 
authorization). An EAD is an acceptable document under List A.
    If you received a 6-month automatic extension of your EAD by virtue 
of this Federal Register notice, you may choose to present your 
automatically extended EAD, as described above, to your employer as 
proof of identity and employment authorization for Form I-9 through 
March 31, 2012 (see the subsection below titled ``How do my employer 
and I complete Form I-9 (i.e., verification) using an automatically 
extended EAD for a new job?'' for further information). To minimize 
confusion over this extension at the time of hire, you may also show a 
copy of this Federal Register notice regarding the automatic extension 
of employment authorization through March 31, 2012, to your employer. 
As an alternative to presenting your automatically extended EAD, you 
may choose to present any other acceptable document from List A, or 
List B plus List C.

What documentation may I show my employer if I am already employed but 
my current DED-related EAD is set to expire?

    You must present any document from List A or any document from List 
C on Form I-9 to reverify employment authorization. Employers are 
required to reverify on Form I-9 the employment authorization of 
current employees upon the expiration of a DED-related EAD.
    If you received a 6-month automatic extension of your EAD by virtue 
of this Federal Register notice, your employer does not need to 
reverify until after March 31, 2012. However, you and your employer do 
need to make corrections to the employment authorization expiration 
dates in Section 1 and Section 2 of the Form I-9 (see the subsection 
below titled ``What corrections should my employer at my current job 
and I make to Form I-9 if my EAD has been automatically extended?'' for 
further information). In addition, you may also show this Federal 
Register notice to your employer to avoid confusion about whether or 
not your expired TPS-related document is acceptable. After March 31, 
2012, when the automatic extension expires, your employer must reverify 
your employment authorization. You may show any document from List A or 
List C on Form I-9 to satisfy this reverification requirement.

What happens after March 31, 2012, for purposes of employment 
authorization?

    After March 31, 2012, employers may not accept the EADs that were 
automatically extended by this Federal Register notice. However, USCIS 
will issue new EADs to individuals covered under DED. These EADs will 
have an expiration date of March 31, 2013, and can be presented to your 
employer as proof of employment authorization and identity. The EAD 
will bear the notation ``A-11'' on the face of the card under 
``Category.'' Alternatively, you may choose to present any other 
legally acceptable document or combination of documents listed on the 
Form I-9 to prove identity and employment authorization.

How do my employer and I complete Form I-9 (i.e., verification) using 
an automatically extended EAD for a new job?

    When using an automatically extended EAD to fill out Form I-9 for a 
new job prior to March 31, 2012, you and your employer should do the 
following:
    (1) For Section 1, you should:
    a. Check ``An alien authorized to work;''
    b. Write your alien number (A-number) in the first space (your EAD 
or other document from DHS will have your A-number printed on it); and
    c. Write the automatic extension date in the second space.
    (2) For Section 2, employers should:
    a. Record the document title;
    b. Record the document number; and
    c. Record the automatically extended EAD expiration date.
    After March 31, 2012, employers must reverify the employee's 
employment authorization in Section 3 of Form I-9.

What corrections should my employer at my current job and I make to 
Form I-9 if my EAD has been automatically extended?

    If you are an existing employee who presented a DED-related EAD 
that was valid when you first started your job, but that EAD has now 
been automatically extended, you and your employer should correct your 
previously completed Form I-9 as follows:
    (1) For Section 1, you should:
    a. Draw a line through the expiration date in the second space;
    b. Write March 31, 2012, above the previous date;
    c. Write ``DED Ext.'' in the margin of Section 1; and
    a. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 1.
    (2) For Section 2, employers should:
    a. Draw a line through the expiration date written in Section 2;
    b. Write March 31, 2012, above the previous date;
    c. Write ``DED Ext.'' in the margin of Section 2; and
    d. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 2.
    After March 31, 2012, when the automatic extension of EADs expires, 
employers must reverify the employee's employment authorization in 
Section 3.

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

    If you are an employer who participates in E-Verify, you will 
receive a ``Work Authorization Documents Expiring'' case alert when an 
individual covered under DED has an EAD that is about to expire. 
Usually, this message is an alert to complete Section 3 of Form I-9 to 
reverify an employee's employment authorization. For existing employees 
with DED-related EADs that have been automatically extended, employers 
should disregard the E-Verify case alert and follow the instructions 
above explaining how to correct Form I-9. After March 31, 2012, 
employment authorization needs to be reverified in Section 3. You 
should never use E-Verify for reverification.

Can my employer require that I produce any other documentation to prove 
my status, such as proof of my Liberian citizenship?

    No. When completing the Form I-9, employers must accept any 
documentation that appears on the lists of acceptable documentation, 
and that reasonably appears to be genuine and that relates to you. 
Employers may not request documentation that does not appear on the 
Form I-9. Therefore, employers may not request proof of Liberian 
citizenship when completing Form I-9. If presented with EADs that have 
been automatically extended pursuant to this Federal Register notice or 
EADs that are unexpired on their face, employers must accept such EADs 
as valid List A documents so long as the EADs reasonably appear to be 
genuine and to relate to the employee. See below for important 
information about your rights if your employer rejects lawful 
documentation, requires additional documentation, or otherwise 
discriminates against you because of your citizenship or immigration 
status, or national origin.

[[Page 53148]]

Note to All Employers

    Employers are reminded that the laws requiring 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 questions, employers may call the USCIS Customer 
Assistance Office at 1-800-357-2099. The USCIS Customer Assistance 
Office accepts calls in English and Spanish only. Employers may also 
call the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Special Counsel for 
Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline 
at 1-800-255-8155.

Note to Employees

    Employees or applicants may call the DOJ OSC Worker Information 
Hotline at 1-800-255-7688 for information regarding employment 
discrimination based upon citizenship or immigration status, and 
national origin, unfair documentary practices related to the Form I-9, 
and discriminatory practices related E-Verify. Employers must accept 
any document or combination of documents acceptable for Form I-9 
completion if the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and to 
relate to the employee. Employers may not require extra or additional 
documentation beyond what is required for Form I-9 completion. Further, 
employees who receive an initial mismatch via E-Verify must be given an 
opportunity to challenge the mismatch, and employers are prohibited 
from taking adverse action against such employees based on the initial 
mismatch unless and until E-Verify returns a final non-confirmation. 
The Hotline accepts calls in multiple languages. Additional information 
is available on the OSC Web site at http://www.justice.gov/crt/osc/.

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

    State and local government agencies are permitted to create their 
own guidelines when granting certain benefits, such as a driver's 
license or an identification card. Each state may have different laws, 
requirements, and determinations about what documents you need to 
provide to prove eligibility for certain benefits. If you are applying 
for a state or local government benefit, you may need to provide the 
state or local government agency with documents that show you are 
covered under DED and show you are authorized to work based on DED. 
Examples of documents state or local government agencies may require 
are:
    (1) Your expired EAD that has been automatically extended, or your 
EAD that has a valid expiration date;
    (2) A copy of this Federal Register notice if your EAD is 
automatically extended under this notice;
    (3) A copy of your past Form I-821 Approval Notice (Form I-797), if 
you receive one from USCIS; and
    (4) If there is an automatic extension of work authorization, a 
copy of the fact sheet from the USCIS DED Web page that provides 
information on the automatic extension.
    Check with the state or local agency regarding which document(s) 
the agency will accept.
    Some benefit-granting agencies use the USCIS Systematic Alien 
Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) to verify the current 
immigration status of applicants for public benefits. If such an agency 
has denied your application based solely or in part on a SAVE response 
following completion of all required SAVE verification steps, the 
agency must offer you the opportunity to appeal the decision in 
accordance with the agency's procedures. If the agency has completed 
all SAVE verification and you do not believe the response is correct, 
you may make an Info Pass 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 can be found by going 
to the SAVE Web site at http://www.uscis.gov/save, and then choosing 
``How to Correct Your Records'' from the menu on the right.

Travel Authorization and Advance Parole

    Individuals covered under DED who want to travel outside of the 
United States must apply for and receive advance parole by filing Form 
I-131, Application for Travel Document, with required fees before 
departing the United States. See 8 CFR 223.2(a). The determination 
whether to grant advance parole is within the discretion of the 
Department of Homeland Security and is not guaranteed in all cases. If 
you seek advance parole in order to go to Liberia or to your country of 
last habitual residence before the United States, you may risk being 
found ineligible to re-enter the United States under DED because the 
Presidential Memorandum excludes persons ``who have voluntarily 
returned to Liberia or his or her country of last habitual residence 
outside of the United States.''
    You may submit your completed Form I-131 with your Form I-765. If 
you choose to file a Form I-131 separately, please submit the 
application along with supporting documentation that you qualify for 
DED to: USCIS, Attn: DED Liberia, P.O. Box 8677, Chicago, IL 60680-
8677.
    If you have a pending or approved I-765, please submit the I-797 
notice of receipt or approval along with your Form I-131 and supporting 
documentation.

     Dated: August 22, 2011.
Lori Scialabba,
Deputy Director, U.S. Citzenship and Immigration Services.
[FR Doc. 2011-21842 Filed 8-24-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-97-P