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  • I-9 seminars and training
  • I-9 seminars and training
Aug
8
2014
Corporate Immigration Compliance Officer Training
Gardner, KS Details and registration
 
Mdivani Corporate Immigration Update
DANGEROUS TOOLS OF THE TRADE: WHY SCRIBBLING, BLACK MARKERS, AND WHITE OUT ARE “NO-NOs” ON THE I-9 FORM



Most HR professionals and hiring personnel want their I-9 forms to be perfect.  HR professionals and hiring personnel who act as I-9 Administrators handling completion of I-9s employment eligibility forms for an employer are meticulous and conscientious by nature.  When a mistake in filling out the form occurs, the natural inclination is to mark out the error thoroughly.  The usual thinking goes:  While striking through the information might get the job done, a thick black mark would be better.  No, a scribble obliterating the miswrite is even more thorough.   Better yet, why don’t I just use white out to completely hide the error?  Pat myself on the back for an HR task well done.  Right? NO!  Why?

 

WHY SHOULD EMPLOYERS CARE ABOUT PROPER DOCUMENTATIONS OF CORRECTIONS ON I-9S?

 

Once an I-9 Administrator understands the policy behind no scribbling, no black marker, and no white out the Administrator will never make this classic “mistake” again.  The I-9 forms are actually federal affidavits signed under penalty of perjury subject to prosecution by the federal government (under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security).  The purpose of the form in the eyes of the government is to establish each employee’s identity and right to work in the United States.  The government is laser-focused on this issue, and, since 2009, is quick to use the enforcement branch of the Department of Homeland Security (known as “ICE” – Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to investigate  and prosecute employers who are unable to prove that each employee is who they claim, and is authorized to work in this country.  As you know, liability now can range from several hundred dollars per I-9, to millions of dollars and federal prison time for owners, management, and I-9 Administrators.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CORRECT ERRORS ON AN I-9?

 

If the form information written in error is obliterated by scribble, black marker, or white out, then the Department of Homeland Security agent investigating the I-9s cannot see what was written previously on the form.  In some cases, ICE may presume the worst, including bad intent, or knowledge of an immigration violation.  A much better practice is drawing a single straight line through any error on the form, and then initialing and dating the form.  It is important to remember that Section One corrections need to be initialed and dated by the employee, and Section Two and Three corrections initialed and dated by the I-9 Administrator.  Procedures like this should be part of your Corporate Immigration Plan, Policies and Procedures based on ICE Best Practices and should be part of the I-9 Admnistrator training before she or he begins administering I-9s to new workers.   If the employer is ever subject to an audit by ICE, the ICE officer can see that the employer has nothing to hide … no scribbles obliterating possibly fraudulent backdating of employment dates, or changing of employee names … you get the picture.  So sometimes less “thoroughness” actually is more.

 

Posted by Mira Mdivani
Business Immigration Attorney
MDIVANI CORPORATE IMMIGRATION FIRM

 

 
H-4 Spouses of H-1B workers with Pending Employment-Based Green Card Process to Become Eligible for Employment Authorization

 On May 6, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed regulation which, if adopted, will enable wives and husbands of H-1B visa holders to work in the United States.

This rule will apply only to spouses of H-1B workers who hold H-4 visa status.  Currently, H-4 spouses are not eligible for employment authorization. The change proposed by DHS would allow H-4 spouses of some H-1B nonimmigrant workers to request employment authorization, as long as the H-1B worker has already started the process of seeking lawful permanent residence through employment.


Who is Eligible?
 

H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B workers who:

  • Are the beneficiaries of an approved I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker;

or

  • Have been granted an extension of their authorized period of stay in the United States under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21) as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. AC21 permits H-1B workers seeking lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit.

The proposed rule was issued yesterday, but I have already been asked this question:


When can I get my H-4- based work permit?
 

The answer is: months to wait + weeks to wait + 90 days to wait.   This is why:
 

  1. This is not a rule yet, this is a PROPOSED rule.  It takes the government several months (best case scenario) to go put a proposed rule into effect.

 

  1. Once the rule is adopted, it will take time for USCIS to establish the application procedure.   Even in the age on Internet, this can be weeks or month.


  2. Once the rule is adopted by DHS and employment authorization procedure is established, it will likely involve filing an I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (EAD).  Current EAD processing times are approximately 90 days.


Posted by Mira Mdivani
Corporate Immigration Attorney
MDIVANI CORPORATE IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM

 
Help! I am in F-1 Student Status and I Have My Heart Set on an H-1B Visa

With less than a month before April 1, the date when employers can file new H-1B petitions for new international employees in “specialty occupations” such as IT and engineering, attorneys at our firm receive many phone calls and emails from international students.  These calls begin with, “Can you do my H-1B visa” and are quickly followed by many more related questions.  Below are some of the common questions we hear from international students and some answers that we provide to bring clarity to students and their employers.

 

   
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