I-9 Compliance

USCIS has announced that the final rule, which is published in the 4/15/11 Federal Register, adopts, without change, an interim rule which has been in effect since April 3, 2009.  USCIS states that the purpose of the final rule is to “improve the integrity of the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) process”. The key changes made to the I-9 process by the interim rule include: prohibiting employers from accepting expired documents for completion of Form I-9 and adding and modifying several documents on the “Lists of Acceptable Documents”. Employers may continue to use the current version of the Form I-9 (Rev. 08/07/2009), or the previous version (Rev. 02/02/2009).  The "Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 (M-274)” was updated on January 5, 2011, and is available on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/files/form/m-274.pdf.    

All employers should be aware that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), conducts I-9 inspections and that employers face criminal and civil sanctions for noncompliance. An overview of the ICE Form I-9 Inspection process, including a review of civil and criminal sanctions, is available on the ICE website:

http://www.ice.gov/doclib/foia/dro_policy_memos/formi9inspectionoverview.pdf

If your company is in need of any assistance regarding immigration matters, including assistance with an internal audit of I-9 compliance, contact Madeline S. Wirt, who is a partner of the firm and has been a member of AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers Association) since 1995.

 This bulletin provides a general summary of recent legal developments. It is not intended to be and should not be relied upon as legal advice.