I-9 Document Alert: EAD Cards for Haitian Nationals in Temporary Protected Status

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a special alert to notify Haitian nationals in Temporary Protected Status that their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) may have an incorrect expiration date. According to the recent announcement, approximately 320 Haitian nationals received EADs with an early expiration date (July 22, 2010 instead of July 22, 2011). The USCIS is re-issuing extended EADs with the correct expiration date of July 22, 2011, and promises to deliver them to all cardholders before July 22, 2010.  As previously reported, Temporary Protected Status (or TPS) is a temporary immigration benefit that allows qualified individuals from designated countries (or parts of those countries) who are already in the United States to stay and work here for a limited period of time. Countries are designated for TPS based on certain social or environmental conditions which prevent individuals from returning safely to their home country. On Jan. 15, 2010, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano designated TPS for eligible Haitian nationals as a result of the catastrophic earthquake that occurred on Jan. 12, 2010.  Employer I-9 Obligations The USCIS advises that Haitian nationals in possession of these erroneous EADs may continue to use it as proof of current work authorization in the U.S. Therefore, employers should continue to accept EADs for Haitian TPS nationals with a July 22, 2010 expiration date and schedule reminders (as usual) to reverify the I-9s before the expiration date. Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog post is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. If you have questions concerning how TPS rules apply to your specific situation, please seek legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.