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USCIS Simplifies the Process of Obtaining Employment Authorization Documents for Refugees

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On March 12, 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced a new process for filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization to benefit recently admitted refugees. Through this new procedure, refugees can acquire their employment authorization documents (EAD) in a more effective manner. Under United States law, any refugee is legally authorized to work in the United States upon arrival. However, being in possession of the correct work authorization documents was previously a burdensome and long-delayed process. This new process will ease the process of applying and obtaining work authorization for newly admitted refugees.

Key Takeaways:

  • This new process significantly shortens the wait time for obtaining EADs from several months to approximately 30 days.
  • All individuals who are admitted to the United States as refugees on or after December 10, 2023, will receive EADs, as per this new process.
  • USCIS will digitally create Form I-765 for arriving refugees and begin the formal review process as soon as they are admitted into the United States.
  • Once an individual’s Form I-765 is approved, they will then receive their EAD cards within one to two weeks.
  • Additionally, USCIS will provide the Social Security Administration with the proper information needed to issue a Social Security number to the refugee and mail them the Social Security card once it is approved.

This new process set by USCIS is aimed at facilitating a smoother integration of refugees into American society by accelerating their access to employment authorization documents. This will, in turn, enhance their ability to set roots in their new homeland. Due to ever-changing developments in immigration law and guidelines, we also encourage readers to check our website regularly for any news and updates on this and other topics regarding immigration law.