In November 2014, USCIS extended Temporary Protected Status to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea due to the threat posted by the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Western Africa. USCIS has determined that, while there have been improvements in these countries, conditions supporting the November 2014 designation for TPS continue to be met. Therefore USCIS is extending the designation of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 6 months, from May 22, 2016, through November 21, 2016.
Employers of TPS beneficiaries should be tracking the initial expiration date of the EAD which is May 21, 2016, through their usual I-9 Reverification tracking process. Employees expiring on this date may be TPS beneficiaries, but employers are cautioned not to assume that this is the case and to treat all employees in a consistent manner. Reverification of expiring work authorization must occur BEFORE the work authorization of record expires. If an employee is a TPS beneficiary from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea with work authorization expiring May 21, 2016, they will use the Federal Register Notice for the applicable country of Liberia , Sierra Leone, or Guinea , as proof that their current work authorization document has been extended. Beneficiaries of the TPS discussed in this article will have presented EADs bearing the category code of "A-12" or "C-19" on its face, with an expiration date of May 21, 2016.
How to update the Form I-9 for TPS beneficiaries
It is important to note that the process for updating the expiring work authorization on the Form I-9 when an existing document is extended via Federal Register Notice is different from that which is performed when a new or replacement document is provided. Since an extension thorough a Federal Register Notice simply extends the expiration date of the current work authorization of record, employers do not complete a new Section 3 to indicate the new expiration date. Instead, employers simply draw a single line through the expiration date noted from the EAD (in this case likely in Section 2 of the Form I-9) being extended through Federal Register, write the new date ( in this case 11/21/2016) next to the old expiration date. and note "TPS Ext." and initial and date in the margin. (When the new Form I-9 is released there will be additional space to make these notations).
If the employee indicated May 21, 2016 as the expiration of their work authorization in Section 1 of the Form I-9, the employee also needs to update Section 1 by drawing a single line through this date in Section 1, entering the new date of November 21, 2016 and initialing and dating their changes. Please note that ONLY the employee may make changes in Section 1 of the Form I-9 . Employers must then track and reverify work authorization prior to November 21, 2016 for these TPS beneficiaries.
Please contact your Maggio + Kattar attorney if you have any questions.