On November 23, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a welcome announcement in light of ongoing delays by the agency to adjudicate employment authorization documents (EADs). This announcement extends the acceptance of an I-797 Notice of Action for approval of an employee’s I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as a List C, item #7 document through February 1, 2021 for completion of Form I-9.

When is it acceptable for an employer to accept an EAD I-797 approval notice as a List C document?

The I-797 Notice of Action for approval must include a notice date from December 1, 2019 through and including August 20, 2020. Note that an I-797 receipt for filing of the I-765 is not sufficient; it must reflect that the I-765 was approved. Thus, the applicant is pending receipt of the actual EAD card, which is a List A document for Form I-9.

What is the last day that new and current employees may present an I-797 EAD approval notice for List C purposes?

February 1, 2021. Please note that employees must still present a List B identity document when selecting this option for Form I-9 completion.

How does this extension notice affect the earlier notice of extension for I-797 EAD approval notices, which applied to I-797 EAD approval notices issued from December 1, 2019 to and including August 20, 2020?

For employers who indicated December 1, 2020 as the expiration date of the List C I-797 EADs affected by the first (original) USCIS extension notice and the employee has yet to receive the requested EAD, employers must update Form I-9 in the additional information box by writing the following: “Employment Authorization Ext Until 02/01/2021.” (note example below)

Must employers reverify work authorization of employees using this I-797 EAD approval notice option for a List C document?

Yes, by February 1, 2021, employers must reverify the work authorization of employees, who presented such approval notices. Employees may present a qualifying List A or List C document of their choosing. The current version of the Form I-9 is available at: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9