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Social Security Administration Releases Guidance on Employment Authorization for Nonimmigrants

The Social Security Administration recently released guidance to staff, effective May 21, 2012, on employment authorization for nonimmigrants with respect to Social Security issues. Topics discussed include the policy for nonimmigrant employment authorization, evidence proving a nonimmigrant's employment authorization, the validity period, automatic extensions of employment authorization documents (EADs), nonimmigrants with automatic EAD extensions, the procedure when a Social Security number applicant submits an EAD based on an automatic EAD extension, and the policy for employment authorization by Class of Admission (COA).

The guidance includes a table listing the most recent automatic EAD extension information by country, and a table listing those who are employment-authorized without specific Department of Homeland Security (DHS) authorization, such as A-1 ambassadors and career diplomats, A-2 foreign government officials, H-1C registered nurses, H-2A agricultural workers, J-1 exchange visitors, and others. The guidance notes that although those listed under a COA in the table are employment-authorized without DHS authorization, "employers may still ask for an EAD before the alien can start working." The guidance also includes a table listing COAs and descriptions of nonimmigrants who are authorized to work only with authorization from DHS, and another table listing those who are not authorized to work in the U.S.

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