[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 241 (Monday, December 15, 2008)]
[Pages 76039-76040]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-29511]



U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2456-08; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2008-0034]
RIN 1615-ZA79

Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization Documentation for 
Salvadoran Temporary Protected Status Beneficiaries

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: On October 1, 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
published a Notice in the Federal Register extending the designation of 
El Salvador for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through September 9, 
2010. Beneficiaries of TPS for El Salvador are required to re-register 
and obtain new Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). Since USCIS 
will not be able to process and re-issue new EADs for all such 
beneficiaries by the March 9, 2009, expiration date, USCIS has decided 
to automatically extend the validity of EADs issued to Salvadoran 
nationals (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided 
in El Salvador) until September 9, 2009. This Notice announces that 
extension and also explains how TPS beneficiaries and their employers 
may determine which EADs are automatically extended.

DATES: This notice is effective December 15, 2008. The automatic 
extension of EADs will begin on March 10, 2009, and will remain in 
effect until September 9, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: TPS Operations Program Manager, Status 
and Family Branch, Office of Service Center Operations, U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 
20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20529-2060, telephone 
(202) 272-1533. This is not a toll-free call. Further information will 
also be available at local USCIS offices upon publication of this 
Notice and on the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov.

    Note: The phone number provided here is solely for questions 
regarding this TPS notice. It is not for individual case status 
inquiries. Applicants seeking information about the status of their 
individual case can check Case Status Online available at the USCIS 
Web site listed above, or applicants may call the USCIS National 
Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).


Why is USCIS automatically extending the validity of EADs for 
Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries?

    Considering the large number of applications, it is likely that 
many re-registrants will not receive their new EADs until after the 
expiration date of their current EADs. In order to prevent a gap in 
employment authorization for qualified re-registrants, DHS will 
automatically extend the validity of EADs for Salvadoran TPS 
beneficiaries until September 9, 2009.

Who is eligible to receive an automatic six-month EAD extension from 
March 10, 2009, to September 9, 2009?

    You are eligible to receive an automatic six-month extension of an 
EAD, if you:

[[Page 76040]]

     Are a national of El Salvador (or an alien having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador);
     Applied for and received an EAD under the designation of 
El Salvador for TPS; and
     Have not had TPS withdrawn or denied.
    This automatic extension is limited to EADs issued on Form I-766, 
Employment Authorization Document, bearing an expiration date of March 
9, 2009. These EADs must also bear the notation ``A-12'' or ``C-19'' on 
the face of the card under ``Category.''

If employment authorization is valid until September 9, 2009, why 
should I file for re-registration now?

    DHS has granted a one time automatic extension of EADs through 
September 9, 2009. This allows USCIS additional time to process EAD 
applications for re-registrants and ensure that a gap in status does 
not occur. Applications for re-registration that are received by USCIS 
on or before December 30, 2008 may be processed prior to the EAD 
expiration date of March 9, 2009. However, in order to maintain TPS 
benefits through September 9, 2010, all TPS beneficiaries must comply 
with the re-registration requirements, and submit any associated 
application fees or applications for waivers of the fees, described in 
Federal Notice 73 FR 57128 (October 1, 2008), to USCIS. Those 
applications that are received after December 30, 2008 may take 
considerably longer to process. Although this Notice extends the EAD 
through September 9, 2009, applicants for re-registration should file 
their applications early to allow ample time for processing so that a 
gap in TPS benefits does not occur. There will not be a second 
automatic extension for EAD.

How may employers determine whether an EAD has been automatically 
extended for six months, through September 9, 2009, and is therefore 
acceptable for completion of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility 

    An EAD that has been automatically extended for six months by this 
Notice through September 9, 2009, will bear the notation ``A-12'' or 
``C-19'' on the face of the Form I-766 under ``Category,'' and have an 
expiration date of March 9, 2009, on the face of the card. New EADs or 
extension stickers showing the September 9, 2009, expiration date of 
the six-month automatic extension will not be issued. Employers should 
not request proof of Salvadoran citizenship.
    Employers should accept an EAD as a valid ``List A'' document and 
not ask for additional Form I-9 documentation if presented with an EAD 
that has been extended pursuant to this Federal Register Notice, and 
the EAD reasonably appears on its face to be genuine and to relate to 
the employee. This extension does not affect the right of an applicant 
for employment or an employee to present any legally acceptable 
document as proof of identity and eligibility for employment.

    Note to 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 setting 
forth re-verification requirements. For questions, employers may 
call the USCIS Customer Assistance Office at 1-800-357-2099. 
Employers may also call the U.S. Department of Justice Office of 
Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices 
(OSC) Employer Hotline at 1-800-255-8155. Employees or applicants 
may call the OSC Employee Hotline at 1-800-255-7688 for information 
regarding the automatic extension. Additional information is 
available on the OSC Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/osc/index.html.

How may employers determine an employee's eligibility for employment 
once the automatic six-month extension expires on September 9, 2009?

    Eligible TPS aliens will possess an EAD on Form I-766 with an 
expiration date of September 9, 2010. The EAD will bear the notation 
``A-12'' or ``C-19'' on the face of the card under ``Category,'' and 
should be accepted for the purposes of verifying identity and 
employment authorization.

What documents may a qualified individual show to his or her employer 
as proof of employment authorization and identity when completing Form 

    Qualified individuals who have received a six-month automatic 
extension of their EADs by virtue of this Federal Register Notice may 
present their TPS-based EAD to their employers, as described above, as 
proof of identity and employment authorization through September 9, 
2009. To minimize confusion over this extension at the time of hire or 
re-verification, qualified individuals may also present a copy of this 
Federal Register Notice regarding the automatic extension of employment 
authorization documentation through September 9, 2009. After September 
9, 2009, a qualified individual may present a new EAD valid through 
September 9, 2010.
    In the alternative, any legally acceptable document or combination 
of documents as listed on the Form I-9 may be presented as proof of 
identity and employment eligibility.

    Dated: December 9, 2008.
Michael L. Aytes,
Acting Deputy Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
 [FR Doc. E8-29511 Filed 12-12-08; 8:45 am]