On November 21, 2022, USCIS announced that it would provide Ukrainian and Afghan parolees with employment authorization. USCIS announced that, effective November 21, 2022, the following Afghan and Ukrainian parolees would be treated as “employment authorized incident to status”:

  • Afghan parolees whose unexpired Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, contains a class of admission of “OAR”
  • Ukrainian parolees whose unexpired Form I-94 contains a class of admission of “UHP”; and
  • Ukrainian parolees whose unexpired Form I-94 contains a class of admission of “DT” issued between February 24, 2022, and September 30, 2023, and indicates Ukraine as the country of citizenship on the document.

USCIS also announced that a person’s I-94 which meets the above guidelines will serve as a List A document evidencing both identity and work authorization for 90 days from the date of hire. Within 90 days, the individual must be reverified through a combination of:

  • An unexpired Employment Authorization Card/Document (EAD); or
  • An unrestricted Social Security Card (list C document) and a List B Identity Document from List of Acceptable Documents (“LOAD”);It is expected that most Afghan and Ukrainian parolees will rely on an EAD as a List A document for reverification. By the end of this 90-day period, the individual must present an acceptable combination of new documents – either an EAD or an unrestricted Social Security Card and an acceptable List B identification document. Generally, it is recommended that parolees as soon as they are admitted to the United States are applying for an EAD due to the very lengthy EAD processing times by USCIS, especially far parolees (approximately 7 months to over one year).

Social Security Number-The Social Security Administration (SSA) is aware of the USCIS policy which grants Ukrainian and Afghan parolees, and their qualifying family members with a certain class of admissions, employment authorization incident to status. The SSA has said that these individuals can obtain their Social Security cards in two ways:

  • Enumeration Beyond Entry
  • If the applicant did not give the USCIS permission to share information with the SSA, the applicant can apply for a Social Security card by following the instructions on the SSA’s website.

Social Security applicants must submit evidence of age, identity, and immigration status. In the case of Afghan and Ukrainian parolees with the classes of admission described above, the Form I-94 establishes evidence of age, identity, and employment authorization incident to status. It is critical that parolees apply for their SSN as soon as they enter the United States, due to heavy delays with this agency as well.

Source: AILA (March 2023)