On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
(USCIS) issued a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. The new Form, which replaces all
other forms, is available for immediate use. The previous editions
of the Form (with an OMB control number expiration date of August
31, 2012) will remain valid for 60 days (until May 7, 2013). After
this date, only the new Form ("Rev. 03/08/13") is
All U.S. employers are required to complete a
Form I-9 for every employee hired in order to verify that the
individual is authorized for employment in the United States under
the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).
The new I-9 is now nine pages long, including the form,
instructions and the List of Acceptable Documents. The I-9 Form
itself has been reformatted and expanded from one page to two and
includes additional data fields. The instructions have been revised
and are intended to be clearer to both employees and employers.
Beginning on May 7, 2013 employers must use the new version of
the Form for all new hires and for re-verifying current employees
with expiring employment authorization documentation. As a best
practice, employers should begin using the new edition of the form
immediately (beginning as early as March 8, 2013) for all new hires
and for reverifications of current employees, even though the
previous editions of the Form (with an August 31, 2012, OMB control
number expiration date) will remain valid for 60 days (i.e., until
May 7, 2013). Employers should not execute new Forms for existing
employees who do not require reverification.
USCIS has also updated its Handbook for Employers, Guidance for
Completing Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form)
(Form M-274), its companion instruction booklet for the I-9
process. The new M-274 Handbook for Employers is available on USCIS' website.
The new Form I-9 and List of Acceptable Documents is available
on USCIS' web site in English and in Spanish. The Spanish version of the Form may
only be executed by employers in Puerto Rico. Employers in the 50
states, Washington, DC, and other U.S. territories may use the
Spanish version of the Form only as a translation guide and must
complete the English version of the Form.
IRCA compliance can be a complicated process for employers, and
although employers can select from a variety of service providers
to meet their I-9 training needs, legal professionals with
experience with immigration, employment and labor law are better
equipped to handle IRCA compliance issues.
On November 14, 2013, after much controversy in the past years, the USCIS has finally clarified in its Policy Memorandum (PM-602-0093) that certain individuals who entered the U.S. pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) may apply for Adjustment of Status in the United States, including those who violated their 90-day term of stay.
The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is the agency responsible for reviewing and making final determinations on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) penalty assessments from I-9 inspections.
Employers of foreign nationals should note that registration for the Fiscal Year 2015 Diversity Visa ("DV") Lottery opened yesterday, October 1, 2013, at noon (EDT) and will remain open until noon (EDT) on Saturday, November 2, 2013.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) created and implemented the Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program (ASVVP) in July 2009, under which it conducts unannounced site inspections at the offices of U.S. employers to verify information contained in pending and approved visa petitions.
In November, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas announced an enhancement to the E-Verify program that will help combat identity fraud by identifying and deterring fraudulent use of Social Security numbers for employment eligibility verification.