March Updates for Refugees: Voloshen Law Firm


Under U.S. law, a refugee is legally authorized to work as soon as they arrive in the United States. Previously, obtaining work authorization has been a cumbersome paper-based process that has led to many undue delays. USCIS has recently started implementing a streamlined process for Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. This process will provide Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) much more efficiently to eligible refugees.

Typically, obtaining EADs could take up to several months, however, this new streamlined process shortens the process to approximately 30 days. The USCIS says this new streamlined process will apply to all individuals admitted to the United States as refugees on or after December 10, 2023.

With this new process, USCIS will digitally create the Form I-765 for arriving refugees and begin adjudication process as soon as they are admitted to the United States. After Form I-765 is approved, refugees can expect to receive their EAD within one to two weeks. USCIS will mail their EAD via U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail to the refugee’s address of record. USCIS requests that a refugee allows a total of 30 days before inquiring about the status. Time frames may vary depending on delivery times.

Additionally, USCIS will electronically provide the Social Security Administration with information required to assign a Social Security number and mail the Social Security card to the refugee.

Please be aware that this process does NOT apply to following-to join refugees admitted to the United States based on an approved Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition. Any renewals or replacements still need to be completed and submitted via Form I-765.

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact our office at 215-437-7854 or email


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