Haynes and Boone, LLP’s Immigration Practice Group would like to inform employers of two recent immigration changes: (1) a revised Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification by employers; and (2) a new Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record procedure for foreign nationals upon entry to the United States.
Revised I-9 Form for Employee Verification
On March 8, 2013, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. Until May 7, 2013, employers may continue to use the prior versions – revision dates February 2 and August 7, 2009 – of Form I-9. After May 7, 2013, employers should only use the new I-9 Form for both new hires and reverification of employment eligibility.
Employers are required to complete Form I-9 for each employee hired in the United States. The revisions to the new version include new data fields, reformatting to help reduce errors by expanding the layout to two pages instead of one page, and clearer instructions. The new data fields include space for the employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable), telephone number, and email address. Additionally, an updated Spanish version of Form I-9 is also available for use in Puerto Rico only; however, it may be used for reference within the United States. The new form is available online at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.
New I-94 Procedure for Foreign Nationals Entering the U.S.
United States Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has published an interim final rule in the Federal Register to automate Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Form I-94 provides nonimmigrants with evidence that they have been lawfully admitted to the United States. Under the rule, which becomes effective on April 26, 2013, nonimmigrants arriving to the U.S. by air or sea will no longer need to fill out a paper Form I-94. However, anyone who goes through secondary inspection, such as asylees, refugees and parolees, will be given a paper copy of Form I-94.
Some government agencies will still require a paper copy of Form I-94. For example, USCIS will continue to require applicants to submit a paper copy of Form I-94 when requesting certain benefits. Other government agencies, such as state departments of motor vehicles (DMVs), may also require a paper copy of Form I-94. Additionally, nonimmigrants that are authorized to work may choose to present a paper copy of Form I-94 to their employers as proof of work authorization. A nonimmigrant may retrieve a copy of his or her paper Form I-94 from www.cbp.gov/I94 when the website goes live, expected to be April 30, 2013.