DACA recipients who received a three-year Employment Authorization Document (EAD) after February 16, 2015, have been asked by USCIS to return the document.
Note: Three-year EADs include cards that were issued with validity periods of greater than two years but not equal to three years.
In February this year, a U.S. District Court issued an injunction in Texas v. United States temporarily halting the implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). After the court order was issued, USCIS could approve DACA deferred action requests and related employment authorization applications only for two-year periods.
However, over 2000 DACA program recipients were mistakenly issued 3 year EADs after February 16, 2015, when the court injunction was in place. Additionally, about 500 three-year EADs that were approved and issued before February 16, 2015 were returned to USCIS as undeliverable, were subsequently re-mailed to an updated address after the injunction.
USCIS has notified these individuals that the three-year EADs are no longer valid and must be immediately returned, along with any related approval notices.
Which DACA Recipients Must Return the 3 Year EADs?
- DACA recipients who have a 3 year EAD that was issued to them after the February 16, 2015, court order must return their invalid three-year EAD cards as directed in the two separate notices mailed to them. USCIS has also announced that it has sent those recipients a replacement EAD card valid for two years. Recipients who have received a Notice of Intent to Terminate their DACA, have been advised to follow the instructions to appear for a required appointment at a USCIS office to return the card or certify that there is a good reason they cannot return it or that they have already returned it.
- DACA recipients who have a 3 year EAD that was initially issued to them on or before the February 16, 2015, court order, but then re-mailed to an updated address after the court order have been advised to follow the instructions in the Notice of Intent to Terminate their Deferred Action and Employment Authorization that was mailed to them. The notice will direct them to mail in their invalid three-year card or appear at a USCIS office to return the card or certify that there is a good reason they cannot return it. USCIS has also announced that it is sending such recipients a replacement card valid for two years.
- Three-year EADs that were approved and mailed by USCIS on or before the February 16, 2015 (injunction date), and that have never been returned or reissued by USCIS remain unaffected.
USCIS has warned that it will terminate the DACA and all employment authorizations of those DACA recipients who keep the invalid three-year card, and may consider their actions as a negative factor in weighing any future requests for deferred action, or any other discretionary requests.
USCIS has also announced that Individuals who are required to return three-year EADs and have not done so will be contacted by phone or in-person. Further, for the purpose of retrieving these three-year EADs, USCIS may visit the homes of those individuals who have not yet returned their invalid 3-year EAD or responded to USCIS.