2020 USCIS I-9 Guidance Round-Up
- Sukkar, Suzanne K.
Click “Subscribe Now” to get attorney insights on the latest developments in a range of services and industries.
As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, employees continue to work from home in record numbers, and employers continue to scramble to adjust their business operations and employee relations policies to accommodate the so-called “new normal”. Following-up on our earlier news about the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) odd relaxation of certain Form I-9 rules, we felt this would be a good time to remind companies of several other aspects of previously routine I-9 compliance, which have been impacted during this unprecedented year.
To that end, here below are some of the more noteworthy I-9 developments, which companies should be monitoring closely:
- Given the shock of what was happening in mid-March, the year started out with a fairly modest, temporary grace period for employers to complete in-person I-9 document reviews for new hires. All other I-9 rules and requirements remained in force, despite the rapidly changing work landscape. If you are not yet familiar with the accommodations given to employers in late-March, you can review them here. After several extensions, those rules are still active today (albeit set to expire on November 19th). However, note carefully the very limited definition of what constitutes a business “operating remotely”.
- In a similar vein, the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) confirmed in March that its E-Verify system for I-9 quality control would continue operating largely unchanged, but with a few extended deadlines for employers to perform certain actions in the system. Given the number of human resource managers already working remotely, and the fact that E-Verify is entirely a web-based online system, this did not seem to be a major problem for employers, assuming they could juggle the more tricky I-9 creation rules at the time of hire.
- Throughout the summer, the DHS continued to almost reluctantly extend the grace periods for employers to perform in-person interactions with new employees completing their I-9s. It also provided some more specific guidance for particular challenges which were vexing employers struggling to maintain I-9 compliance. Those included what to do when a new employee’s identity document has expired, but the relevant state agency issuing the renewal/replacement was indefinitely shuttered; and, much to the relief of understandably confused human resource professionals, some real-world, practical examples for how employers should annotate their I-9s, when using all of these new, temporary policies.
- Most recently, the USCIS launched a public information campaign last month reminding employers how to properly handle what are called “Tentative Nonconfirmations” (or TNCs) generated from its E-Verify system. TNCs generally happen when there is a data mismatch between the USCIS’ records and the information an employer enters into E-Verify from its I-9 form. TNCs can be an innocuous as a name typo error, or can signal a serious problem with the employee’s US work authorization. Handling TNC situations correctly can often be tricky, to avoid accidentally harming a lawful US worker, or carelessly not following-up on a potential lack of lawful status to employ somebody.
Dickinson Wright is committed to helping companies and busy human resource professionals to remain vigilantly compliant with all US immigration rules and obligations. Please feel free to contact us at any time about the I-9 developments above, or in connection with any other needs you have for your foreign worker populations.
- June 1, 2023 In the News Dickinson Wright Receives Top Rankings in 2023 Chambers USA Guide; 43 Attorneys Recognized as Leaders in their Fields
- January 26, 2023 Industry Alerts Tick Tock – Michigan Employers Are on the Earned Sick Time Clock
- January 20, 2023 Industry Alerts Federal Trade Commission Proposes Rule to Ban Non-Compete Clauses | 連邦取引委員会による競業避止条項の禁止に関する規則の提案
- January 19, 2023 Industry Alerts Federal Trade Commission Proposes Rule to Ban Non-Compete Clauses | 联邦贸易委员会提议禁止竞业禁止条款
- January 12, 2023 Industry Alerts Federal Trade Commission Proposes Rule to Ban Non-Compete Clauses
- November 29, 2022 In the News Four Dickinson Wright Attorneys Recognized in 2022 Mid-South Super Lawyers
- November 02, 2022 Industry Alerts EEOC Releases Updated “Know Your Rights” Poster | 美国公平就业机会委员会发布最新《了解你的权利》海报
- September 27, 2022 In the News Dickinson Wright Ranked in Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment 2022 Edition
- September 19, 2022 Blogs ミシガン最高裁判所による判決－性的指向を理由とする差 別は、エリオット・ラーセン市民権法で禁止されるとの判 断を下す | The Michigan Supreme Court Holds That Discrimination On The Basis Of Sexual Orientation Is Prohibited