Immigration Update: I-9 Updates

I-9 Updates

A New Version of Form I-9 was released on October 21, 2019 and is now mandatory.

USCIS also announced a temporary COVID-19 policy allowing employees to provide List B documents that expired on or after March 1, 2020. Such documents will be treated as valid temporarily and the employee must provide a valid unexpired document with 90 days.

USCIS recently released an updated version of the Handbook for Employers – Guidance for Completing Form I-9. Some new handbook guidance includes:

  1. Retention of I-9s for Employees

The handbook advises Form I-9 should be retained for employees whose employment ends shortly after hire. This may include those who never receive a paycheck.

  1. Reverification of Employees with Automatic EAD Extensions

USCIS provides that certain employees who apply to extend their Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) in a timely fashion are automatically granted 180-day extensions. también, persons with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) may receive automatic extensions of their work permits if their TPS is extended by the government.

On prior versions of Form I-9, USCIS instructed to cross out the employment expiration date in Section 1 and replace it with the new expiration date. On the new version, employers are to update the employment expiration date in Section 2 of Form I-9.

  1. F-1 “Cap-Gap” Students

Employers are advised to record the student’s F-1 OPT EAD and H-1B cap receipt notice information on Form I-9. Form I-20 is no longer required.

Other clarifications include use of authorized representatives, acceptable List B and C documents, and enforcement guidelines, among others.

For questions about completing Form I-9 and compliance, please contact Gee & Zhang LLP.