Posts Tagged ‘I-9’

New Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, Must Be Used Starting May 7, 2013

Friday, April 26th, 2013

USCIS has revised its Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, the form that all employers are required to complete for each employee hired in the United States.  While the new form can be used now, it must be used as of May 7, 2013 — and employers can be fined for failing to use it.

The new form is two pages instead of one, includes new fields, and has been reformatted. Changes to the I-9 are geared toward clarifying and providing additional guidance to employers and employees about the I-9 process. USCIS hopes that clearer instructions will help employees and employers avoid making inadvertent errors that can be serious.

Employers who have previously completed an I-9 for current employees should not complete a new Form I-9, but the new form should be used for revalidation. (Unnecessary re-verification can violate the applicable anti-discrimination provisions of the immigration laws.)

USCIS also announced changes to the associated M-274, “Handbook for Employers, Guidance for Completing the Form I-9.”  It includes information about the new I-9 and explains how to complete the new form.  The new I-9 form and M-274 handbook are available at www.uscis.gov/i-9.

Employers would be wise to commence using the new form now.

 

New I-9 Form on the Horizon

Friday, August 17th, 2012

USCIS has proposed revisions to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which include:

  • Expanded Form I-9 instructions and a revised layout.
  • New, optional data fields to collect the employee’s e-mail address and telephone number.
  • New data fields to collect the foreign passport number and country of issuance. Only foreign nationals authorized to work in the U.S. who have also recorded their I-94 admission number on Form I-9 will need to provide the foreign passport number and country of issuance.

While these proposals must be issued as part of a final rule before they become effective, employers should be on the lookout for the new form in the coming months. The public comment period ended in late May.

Citizenship, I-9, and J Visa Resources Online

Friday, August 5th, 2011

USCIS and DOS are making it easier to find information about immigration online.  USCIS has created the Citizenship Resource Center (http://www.uscis.gov/citizenship) that has information about the process of gaining US citizenship designed for individuals, teachers, and organizations. It also launched “I-9 Central” (www.uscis.gov/I-9central) a new online resource that website provides employers and employees with resources, tips, and guidance on completing the I-9 form as well as a discussion of common mistakes and guidance on avoiding such errors.

The launch of I-9 Central follows the introduction of E-Verify Self Check, a service launched in March by USCIS that allows workers and job-seekers in the United States to check their own employment eligibility status online. In a related development, USCIS recently rolled out new E-Verify website content in Spanish. Perhaps the most important feature now in Spanish are instructions for employees on how to resolve a tentative non-confirmation (TNC). Occurring in about three percent of all E-Verify inquiries, a TNC is issued when E-Verify is unable to match employee information with information in federal databases. In such cases, employees commonly need to visit a Social Security Administration office to resolve the discrepancy. With the new content in Spanish, employers will be better prepared to advise their employees on how to handle and resolve TNCs.

And, finally, the Department of State launched a redesigned website for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program (http://j1visa.state.gov) aimed at improving the application experience by providing a one-stop shop for everything a J-1 applicant needs to know written in plain, easy to understand English.

News In Brief: I-9 Special Alert; E-Verify Self-Check, VIBE, Improving Agency Efficiency

Friday, April 29th, 2011

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers:

I-9 Special Alert: Are you compliant? The Obama Administration continues to make worksite enforcement a major priority by conducting a record number of I-9 audits. Most recently, Chipotle Mexican Grill, with more than 900 locations across the United States, has been the focus of ICE I-9 audits. In the Washington, D.C., area, some 400 employees were let go due to problems with their documents. Make sure you are ready when ICE comes knocking!

E-Verify Self-Check Goes Live: The E-Verify Self-Check system, which allows individuals to electronically check their own work authorization status and resolve any inaccuracies before an employer checks the system, was launched on March 21 as part of a test run in five states (Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia) as well as Washington, D.C. If you live in one of these jurisdictions, you can check your status at https://selfcheck.uscis.gov/SelfCheckUI/.

VIBE: A new beta-test of the Web-based Validation Instrument for Business Enterprise (VIBE), run by Dun & Bradstreet, allows USCIS to access commercially available information about companies that petition for U.S. workers. This means that businesses should be aware that such information will be accessed by investigators and become part of the review process conducted by USCIS. If the U.S. business entity’s information on the petition is inconsistent with what is in VIBE, USCIS issues a request for evidence (RFE). Moreover, there have been reports that the VIBE system, which is based on publicly available information, too often contains inaccuracies, is unreliable, and requires a significant effort to update.

Improving Agency Efficiency: Following President Obama’s Executive Order to improve the federal agency regulatory process, agencies involved in immigration regulation are engaging public comment about what can be done to streamline and cut wasteful bureaucracy. The Departments of Justice and State have already opened their notice and comment period, and others are expected to follow suit in the coming months. Whether this results in streamlined, more efficient immigration processing remains anyone’s guess.

I-9 Compliance: Steps Employers Can Take to Avoid Liability

Monday, March 1st, 2010

With worksite enforcement a priority for ICE, employers need to take heed: even employers that have not been accused of knowingly employing undocumented workers can expect site visits and can be held liable for clerical violations and subject to steep civil fines. Well-intentioned employers often find inadvertent paperwork errors or technical violations during their internal audits; some seemingly harmless errors and omissions are actually considered substantive violations that carry significant fines. For example, the failure of an employer to ensure that an individual employee checks the Form I-9′s box for “citizen,” “lawful permanent resident,” or “authorized to work until a specified date” is a substantive violation. An employer’s failure to provide the date of hire in the attestation portion of the I-9, while a technical violation, is still actionable even if other parts of the form are dated.

Read More