In a recent meeting with representatives of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), U.S. Customs & Immigration Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that pre-population of Section 1 of the Form I-9 (often a feature of electronic I-9 software programs) is an unacceptable practice. This is contrary to previous guidance by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Software providers and employers who use electronic I-9 software should consider this most recent policy statement and may wish to speak with an attorney about how to handle I-9s that may have been completed using pre-population.

Also in a meeting with AILA representatives, USCIS clarified that the 3-day rule for completing Section 2 is based on the employer's operations schedule. If a business is closed on weekends, weekends do not count in calculating the 3-day deadline. However, if the employer's business operates 7 days a week, such as a hospital or production plant, weekends count in the calculation. This interpretation applies even if the business does not have human resources or management staff available on such weekends or holidays. This is a shift from previous ICE guidance.

Remember that the deadline for using the new version of the Form I-9 was May 7, 2013. On and after that date, all employers should be using only the new 2-page version of the Form I-9.