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USCIS Publishes Notice on Proposed Changes to Form I-9

The US Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) recently issued a notice on its website and in the Federal Register informing employers and potential foreign workers seeking to enter the United States for employment purposes, of proposed changes to the Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification. The announcement also called for a 30-day grace period for feedback.

Changes Designed to Make Application Process Smoother

The Form I-9, or Employment Eligibility Verification is a form required by federal law to verify the identities and employment authorization of each  immigrant worker hired by a US-based employer. It was also designed to protect individuals from being discriminated against, based on their citizenship or country of origin.

To allay fears of drastic revisions to the current form, the USCIC points out their proposed changes are not meant to critically affect the employment verification process for immigrant employees, but rather were designed by to make the application process smoother and more stringent, protecting both applicant and employer.

For example, the agency suggests the addition of measures to validate the information entered in some fields in the Form I-9. With these additional screening mechanisms in place, the application process becomes faster, with a lower possibility of errors, for which employers may be subjected to heavy fines, and the applicant automatically disqualified.

More Fields for Supplemental Information

In some applications, employers have to use more than one translator in order to complete Section 1 in the existing Form I-9. To accommodate this scenario, the USCIS is also seeking to add spaces and a supplement field in the Form to allow employers to add as many preparers or translators as needed to accomplish the Section.

Some applications require additional information that, unfortunately, has no allocated section in the current Form I-9. The USCIS acknowledges this problem, and now allows employers access to a dedicated section in the form, saving applicants the trouble of having to write down this supplemental information on the margins of the printed Form I-9.

Easier System of Producing Multiple Forms

To make it easier and faster for employers to produce multiple Form I-9s, the USCIS has proposed to add buttons that will send information to the printer, after which the employer can then just click on a button to clear the entire form and process another employee’s employment eligibility application.

However, there is still no official Form I-9 available bearing the suggested revisions; the current form is still in effect for employers looking to assist and process foreign immigrants, whom they are trying to bring over to the United States for work. Until officials changes are announced, employers and applicants should still refer to the current version of the form. After the 30-day window for public comments, the USCIS may submit the list of proposed changes to the OMB, who in turn will review them for approval.

To learn how the changes to the Form I-9 will affect you or someone you know, talk to the immigration law experts of Lyttle Law Firm. Schedule a consult by calling our offices at 512-215-5225 or by visiting our website.

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