"Effective November 10,2002, Form I-688B, Employment Authorization Cards, are to be issued to all individuals admitted as refugees under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) immediately upon their arrival in the United States and to all individuals granted asylum under section 208 of the INA immediately upon the grant of asylum. This on-the-spot employment authorization processing is being established by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (the Service) to implement section 309 of the Enhanced Border Security Act and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (BSA), which President Bush signed into law on May 14, 2002. This law requires the Attorney General within 180 days of enactment of the BSA (which is November 10,2002) to begin to issue employment authorization documents to individuals admitted as refugees immediately upon their arrival and to asylees immediately upon the grant of asylum. This law also requires that the employment authorization document contain a photograph and fingerprint of the asylee or refugee. After a thorough examination of possible implementation solutions, the Service has determined that issuance of I-688Bs is the most expedient means to fulfill all of the law's requirements by the required implementation date. In addition to issuing I-688Bs, officers will continue to issue refugees and asylees at the time they attain such status the Form 1-94, Arrival-Departure Record, indicating their status. Issuance of the I-688Bs is delegated to Inspections, District Offices, and Asylum Offices in the manner prescribed below."
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: http://www.uscis.gov/