With news of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agencies raiding nearly 100 7-Eleven stores across 17 states in the US demanding employment verification from managers, TerraLex recently asked me to discuss what considerations employers and employees should keep top of mind if an onsite raid occurs. Here is my response for a TerraLex publication:
On July 17, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released an updated version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This updated version will replace the most recent form from late January of this year. Employers will have the option to use the updated form (Rev. 07/17/17 N) or continue using the previous Form I-9 (Rev. 11/14/2016 N) during a 60 day grace period, until September 17, 2017. Beginning September 18, 2017, employers will be required to use the updated form for the initial employment verification of all new hires, as well as any applicable employment re-verifications.
On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” Among other things, the EO attempted to implement a travel ban whereby individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen would be prohibited from entering the United States. Immediately, nationals from the named countries faced extraordinary hardship in entering the U.S. Individuals with valid non-immigrant visas, such as F-1 student visas, H-1B work visas and other individuals with valid visas were affected. Green card holders (immigrant visa holders) were also affected. These non-immigrants and immigrants are individuals who live in the United States, have family, jobs, homes, or other ties to the U.S., and who have gone through the lengthy and rigorous immigration process to obtain valid visas to enter the U.S. The EO extended to effect refugees who had been vetted by the U.S. government and granted refugee status by the U.S. to escape persecution. Continue Reading The Effects of President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order
A new Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) was released on November 14, 2016. Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), employers are required to verify the employment eligibility and identity of new employees by reviewing documents provided by the employee (such as passports, visas, licenses, etc.) and completing the Form I-9. This requirement applies to all new employees including U.S. citizens. Although the Form I-9 is currently two pages and may seem simple, it is difficult to comply with all I-9 requirements. Errors are frequently made when completing the form, which may lead to penalties and fines to the employer. The new form is intended to help reduce errors, and allow completion of the form on the USCIS website.
The on-line form now includes drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. This should not be confused with the electronic I-9 used in the E-verify system.
Other changes include prompts to ensure information is entered correctly, the ability to enter multiple preparers and translators, a dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins, and a supplemental page for the preparer/translator.
The instructions have also been separated from the form, and include specific instructions for completing each field.
Although employers may continue to use either the old version (dated 3/8/2013) or the new version, they will be obligated to use the new version as of January 22, 2017.
The H-1B visa is one of the most popular work visas in the United States, but is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain due to a shortage. Applications for H-1B visas are accepted on April 1 of each year, so now is the time for businesses to start the planning process.
I recently did a video on ‘What You Should Know About the H-1B Visa Application Process.’ To view the video, click here.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for use on March 8, 2013. Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens.
According to the USCIS, improvements to Form I-9 include new fields, reformatting to reduce errors, and clearer instructions to both employees and employers. The Department of Homeland Security published a Notice in the Federal Register informing employers about the new Form I-9.
Effective 03/08/13, employers should begin using the newly revised Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13)N for all new hires and reverifications. Employers may continue to use previously accepted revisions (Rev.02/02/09)N and (Rev. 08/07/09) Y until May 7, 2013. After May 7, 2013, employers must only use Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13)N. The revision date of the Form I-9 is printed on the lower left corner of the form. Employers should not complete a new Form I-9 for current employees if a properly completed Form I-9 is already on file.
The revised forms are available in English and Spanish online at www.uscis.gov. To order forms, employers may call USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676. For downloadable forms and further information on USCIS programs, immigration laws, regulations, and procedures, please visit www.uscis.gov.