Last month, we wrote about the new I-9 Form employers must use for all employees starting January 22, 2017. Today, our Immigration attorneys issued an Advisory to offer some additional guidance and clarification for employers in transitioning from the old I-9 Form to this new Form, and addressing some questions that may come up related to the Form and the use of E-Verify to confirm an employee’s legal status to work in the United States. This Advisory is based on some information just provided by the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association’s Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee, and our Immigration experts wisely wanted to pass along the advice right away.
Below is the advisory, for your review and consideration. Please share this information with your peers or others in your organization who are involved in the hiring process. You can contact Yane McKenzie or Robert Lee in our Immigration practice with any questions you may have, or for further advice on the new I-9 Form, using E-Verify, or any other immigration-related issue.
As you probably know, there is a new version of the Form I-9 that employers must use (dated 11/14/2016 N, expires 8/31/2019). The American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee stays in frequent contact with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) on matters related to the Form I-9 and E-Verify, and this Committee has provided some useful tips to employers when completing the new version of the Form I-9:
In limited circumstances, an employee may indicate that he is an “alien authorized to work” and provide only passport information in Section 1 of the new Form I-9 (no A#/USCIS# or I-94# may be provided). When the employee does not provide a document containing the A#/USCIS# or I-94# for Section 2 of the Form I-9, an E-Verify employer will be unable to complete an E-Verify query. E-Verify requires either the A/USCIS# or an I-94# to process a query for an “alien authorized to work.” E-Verify has indicated that these cases should be put “on hold” at this time to be processed after E-Verify is updated. When the system is ready to handle these cases, the employer can then run the queries with the notation “awaiting E-Verify update” when asked why the query is being run late.
Section 1 Completed on the Old Version Prior to January 22, 2017:
When an employee completes Section 1 of the 03/08/13 version of the Form I-9 prior to January 22, 2017, and the employer does not complete Section 2 of the Form I-9 until January 22, 2017, or later, USCIS has advised that the old version of the Form I-9 should continue to be used. (Section 2 of the Form I-9 should be completed on the old version of the Form I-9, even after January 22, if Section 1 was completed prior to January 22 on the legacy version of the form.) Note that this guidance is only for initial completion of the I-9 form. Any Section 3 re-verifications must be completed on the latest version of the I-9 form.
AILA Doc. No. 17013138