For employers, there is a good possibility that an asylee or refugee could apply for employment at your company. The most recent annual report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reflected a total of 58,238 arrivals to 49 states in a single year.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has published a letter detailing the employment eligibility requirements for asylees and refugees. One of the highlights of the letter was frequently asked questions, and below is a selection of those questions:
1. Must non-U.S. citizens provide a DHS-issued document, such as an Employment Authorization Card (Form I-766), to fulfill the Form I-9 document requirements?
No. An individual who is not a U.S. citizen does not have to submit a DHS-issued document if he or she can fulfill the Form I-9 requirements with other documents. For example, an asylee who presents an unexpired state driver's license (List B document) and an unrestricted Social Security card (List C document) fulfills the Form I-9 requirements and may not be required to present a DHS-issued document.
2. What is the "receipt rule" for refugees?
Under the "receipt rule" for refugees during the first 90 days in the U.S., a refugee may meet the Form I-9 requirements by presenting to his or her employer the departure portion of the Form I-94, containing a refugee admission stamp. This submission only completes the Form I-9 temporarily. Within 90 days, the refugee must provide the employer with either (1) an unrestricted Social Security card and an unexpired List B document or (2) an unexpired employment authorization document issued by DHS.
3. Is a Form I-94 with an asylee stamp considered a receipt as well?
No. The Form I-94 with an asylee stamp is considered an unexpired employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security appearing on List C, item number B. Therefore it could be presented in conjunction with a document from List B. An I-94 with an asylee stamp does not expire and should not be reverified.
4. Does an employee need to submit the same proof of identity and employment eligibility at reverification as he or she did on the initial Form I-9?
No. An employee may present an unexpired document that shows either an extension of his or her initial employment authorization or a new unexpired document evidencing work authorization from either List A or List C, including an unrestricted Social Security card. The employee is not required to present proof of identity at reverification.