Automatic Extensions of EADs Provided by the “Retention of EB-1, EB- 2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers”

Some "good news" in the torrent of disastrous Executive Orders on Immigration.

On Jan. 17, 2017, a final rule, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers,” amending DHS regulations went into effect. The new amendments provide for automatic extensions of the validity periods of certain Employment Authorization Documents (Form I-766) for up to 180 days for individuals who:

• Timely filed to renew an Employment Authorization Document (EAD);
• Are applying to renew an EAD in the same category as the previous EAD (A12 and C19 are considered the same category for this extension); and
• Are in a category that is eligible for the extension. 

January 22, 2017 - Employers Must Use Form I-9 Dated 11/14/2016

Beginning Jan. 22, 2017, employers must use the 11/14/2016 N version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to verify the identity and work eligibility of every new employee hired after Nov. 6, 1986, or for the reverification of expiring employment authorization of current employees (if applicable).

USCIS Provides an Updated M-1053 - E-Verify User Manual

USCIS provides an updated M-1053, E-Verify User Manual for Corporate Administrators which provides guidance on E-Verify processes and outlines the rules and responsibilities for corporate administrators enrolled in E-Verify.

New I-9 Forms

Employers need to be aware that the current Form I-9 will only be acceptable/valid until Jan. 21, 2017.

On Aug. 25, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. USCIS must publish a revised form by Nov. 22, 2016. Employers may continue using the current version of Form I-9 with a revision date of 03/08/2013N until Jan. 21, 2017. After Jan. 21, 2017, all previous versions of Form I-9 will be invalid.

Key Changes to the Form I-9

The proposed changes specifically aim to help employers reduce technical errors for which they may be fined, which include:

  • Separate instructions from the form. Employers are still required to present the instructions to the employee completing the form.

  • Drop-down lists and calendars.

  • Validations on certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly.

  • Embedded instructions for completing each field.

  • Additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators.

  • The requirement that workers provide only other last names used in Section 1, rather than all other names used. This is to avoid possible discrimination issues and to protect the privacy of transgender and other individuals who have changed their first names.

  • The removal of the requirement that immigrants authorized to work provide both their Form I-94 number and foreign passport information in Section 1.

  • A new "Citizenship/Immigration Status" field at the top of section 2.

  • A dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form (ie., OPT)

  • A quick-response matrix barcode, or QR code, that generates once the form is printed that can be used to streamline enforcement audits.