USCIS Introduces Redesigned Employment Authorization Document: Form I-766

December 09, 2011

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a redesigned Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document, commonly referred to as an "EAD card." Part of USCIS's larger effort to eliminate document fraud, the redesign enhances the card's security features to discourage tampering and misuse. The enhanced security measures include optically variable ink along the top of the card and a holographic image on the front of the card.

How does the redesigned EAD card affect employers' Form I-9 compliance obligations?

The redesigned EAD card serves the same purpose as the prior version and will remain a "List A" document for employment verification purposes. "List A" documents establish a worker's identity as well as his or her authorization to work in the United States.

An applicant for employment may still present a valid and unexpired prior version of Form I-766/EAD card to satisfy Form I-9 document requirements. The redesigned Form I-766 will be phased in incrementally. Foreign nationals in possession of the prior version will only receive the redesigned EAD card to replace a lost or stolen card or upon a card's expiration. A foreign national can apply for a new card no more than 120 days prior to expiration date.

For more information, or if you have any questions regarding the issues discussed in this Immigration Alert, please contact any of the following attorneys:

Washington, D.C.

San Francisco