• The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has finally published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form (“Form I-9”). While the form remains substantively same and so do the requirements for its completion, there are a few key changes. The revised Form I-9 no longer allows acceptance of the following documents to prove both identity and employment eligibility: Certificate of U.S. Citizenship; Certificate of Naturalization; Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-151); an unexpired Refugee Travel Document; and an unexpired Reentry Permit. However, the most recent edition of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (Form I-766) is now added on the List A of documents acceptable for proof of identity and employment eligibility. As of November 7, 2007, the new Form I-9 (revision date: June 5, 2007) is the only edition of Form I-9 acceptable for use. But the DHS’s Notice in the Federal Register should provide for a 30-day transition period to the new Form I-9.
  • The public comment period for the USCIS’s proposed rule for special immigrant (SR/SD) and nonimmigrant (R-1) religious worker visas is closing on November 16, 2007. Changes to these visas are on the horizon and, if you use or anticipate using these visa categories, we recommend discussing the upcoming changes with your immigration legal counsel.
  • The USCIS has published the final rule on travel for H and L nonimmigrants. The rule cancels the prior requirement that H and L visa holders with pending Adjustment of Status proceedings re-entering the U.S. after a trip abroad must present a receipt notice for the Adjustment applications. The now cancelled requirement to present Adjustment receipt notices at the time entry has been particularly hard to comply with during recent months due to the USCIS’s significant delays with filing receipts issuance. We will recommend having updated employment verification letters for L-1 and H-1B workers at the time of their entry into the U.S. and it is advisable to carry Adjustment of Status receipt notices if they are available.
  • The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order for preliminary injunction that prevents the DHS from sending “no match” letters to U.S. employers. An estimated 8.7 million letters were to be sent to employers whose employees’ names and/or social security numbers are found to be non-matching in the Social Security Administration databases. The injunction order has put a stop to this en mass mailing of “no match” letters, but stay tuned for further developments as the DHS has firmly set on aggressive immigration enforcement measures. The DHS has published the new edition of Handbook for Employers. The Handbook, which is a helpful document for I-9 compliance purposes, can be found at the USCIS’s website at  www.uscis.gov, in printable format.