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Saturday, July 04, 2020

News Article


E-Verify Highlights and Updates

E-Verify Highlights and Updates

We are forwarding an update we received from E-Verify and the USCIS.

USCIS Preparing to Resume Public Services on June 4
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is readying individual domestic offices to reopen on or after June 4. See our web alert for information on field offices, asylum offices, application support centers and naturalization ceremonies.

Form I-9 Requirements Flexibility Extended for 30 Days
On March 20, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19.

This temporary guidance was set to expire May 19. Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, DHS has extended this policy for an additional 30 days.

This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. See the original news release for more information on how to obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents to complete Section 2 of Form I-9.

Form I-9 Completion by Employers of Certain H-2B Nonimmigrants Permitted to Start Work Because of Temporary Rules in Effect Due to the COVID-19 National Emergency
On May 12, the Department of Homeland Security published a temporary final rule to change certain H-2B requirements to help secure the U.S. food supply chain and reduce the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency on H-2B employers. The temporary flexibilities are available through Sept. 11, 2020.

The temporary final rule allows employers that have properly filed H-2B extension of stay petitions and Form ATT-H2B, Attestation for Employers Seeking to Employ H-2B Nonimmigrant Workers Essential to the U.S. Food Supply Chain (PDF) between certain dates to begin employing certain H-2B workers while USCIS adjudicates their petition. The workers must currently be in H-2B status but working for a different employer. If so, a new employer may begin employing the H-2B workers on or after the date that USCIS receives the extension of stay petition (as stated on Form I-797, Notice of Action, receipt notice) or the date USCIS acknowledges in writing receipt of a properly filed attestation, Form ATT-H2B but no earlier than the start date of employment listed on the H-2B petition.

For more information see USCIS H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers page.

Temporary Flexibility of Form I-9 Requirements Related to COVID-19 for Remote Employees
On March 20, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19. See the news release for more information on how employers with remote employees may obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents their employees provide to complete Section 2 of Form I-9. This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely.

Employers must monitor the DHS and ICE websites for additional updates about when the extensions will be terminated, and normal operations will resume.

E-Verify participants who choose the remote inspection option should follow current guidance and create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire. Please see the E-Verify website for additional information.

Form I-9 Completion by Non-E-Verify Agricultural Employers of Certain H-2 Nonimmigrants Permitted to Start Work Because of Temporary Rules in Effect Due to the COVID-19 National Emergency
On April 20, the Department of Homeland Security published a temporary final rule to amend certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. The temporary final rule expires on August 18, 2020.

The temporary final rule allows non-E-Verify employers that have properly filed H-2A extension of stay petitions between certain dates for workers who are currently in H-2A status but working for a different employer to begin employing such H-2A workers on or after the date that USCIS receives the extension of stay petition (as stated on the Form I-797 receipt notice) but no earlier than the start date of employment listed on the H-2A petition.

The temporary rule applies if:

USCIS received the new employer’s extension of stay H-2A petition on or after March 1, and it remains pending as of April 20 (the effective date of the rule), or USCIS receives the H-2A petition between April 20 and Aug. 18.
For more information see USCIS H-2A temporary agricultural workers page.

COVID-19 Temporary Policy for List B Identity Documents
Because many areas are under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 and some online renewal services have restrictions, employees may experience challenges renewing a state driver’s license, a state ID card, or other Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, List B identity document. Considering these circumstances, DHS is issuing a temporary policy regarding expired List B identity documents used to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Beginning on May 1, identity documents found in List B set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes. 

When your employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has not been extended by the issuing authority you should:

•    Record the document information in Section 2 under List B, as applicable; and,
•    Enter the word “COVID-19” in the Additional Information Field.

Within 90 days after DHS’s termination of this temporary policy, the employee will be required to present a valid unexpired document to replace the expired document presented when they were initially hired. 

Note: It is best if the employee can present the replacement of the actual document that was expired, but if necessary, the employee may choose to present a different List A or List B document or documents and record the new document information in the Additional Information Field. 

When the employee later presents an unexpired document, you should:

•    In the Section 2 Additional Information field: pan>
o    Record the number and other required document information from the actual document presented;
o    Initial and date the change.

Procedure for List B Documents extended by an Issuing Authority
If the employee’s List B identity document expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the issuing authority has extended the document expiration date due to COVID-19, the document is acceptable as a List B document for Form I-9 (not as a receipt) during the extension timeframe specified by the issuing authority. 
When your employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has been extended by the issuing authority you should:

•    Enter the document’s expiration date in Section 2; and,
•    Enter “COVID-19 EXT” in the Additional Information Field.

Employers may also attach a copy of a webpage or other notice indicating that the issuing authority has extended the documents.  Employers can confirm that their state has auto-extended the expiration date of state IDs and driver’s licenses by checking the state Motor Vehicle Administration or Department of Motor Vehicles’ website. 

Note: For extended documents, the employee is not required to later present a valid unexpired List B document.  

COVID-19 Temporary Policy Pages Launched
USCIS has created Policy Pages specific to COVID-19 related guidance. These pages will be regularly updated as the pandemic progresses. 

https://www.e-verify.gov/temporary-policies-related-to-covid-19
https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/temporary-policies-related-covid-19

OPENonline's I-9 Manager can help you with Form I-9 compliance. Please contact us today!

This is not legal advice. For legal advice, please seek legal counsel.

#BackgroundScreening #BackgroundChecks #Compliance #LegalCompliance #Hiring #EVerify #USCIS #FormI-9 #OPENonline #I-9Manager

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