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  • I-9 seminars and training
  • I-9 seminars and training
Jul
8
2015
Corporate Immigration Compliance Officer Training
Overland Park, KS Details and registration
Jul
20
2015
I-9 Administrator Training: Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid
Overland Park, KS Details and registration
Jul
21
2015
Employer-Sponsored Green Cards
Overland Park, KS Details and registration
Jul
23
2015
Corporate Immigration Compliance Officer Training
Overland Park, KS Details and registration
Jul
24
2015
Employment-Based US Visas and Green Cards: A Primer for In-House Counsel
Overland Park, KS Details and registration
 
Mdivani Corporate Immigration Update
I-9 Administrator Frequently Asked Questions
As a trainer with the Corporate Immigration Compliance Institute, I am often asked specific questions regarding situations that I-9 Administrators run into with the Form I-9 and its processes.  Below I am providing actual questions and answers I have encountered through I-9 Administrator and Immigration Compliance Officer training sessions that will hopefully act as a quick reference guide to I-9 Administrators dealing with similar issues.
1. Section 3 Uses
Q:  “In regards to Section 3, how do I go about completing an I-9 if I am rehiring a person whose I-9 has not yet been destroyed, but their work authorization has since expired?”
A:  If you are rehiring an employee who is no longer authorized to work and/or their employment authorization documentation has since expired and it requires re-verification, request that the employee present an unexpired List A or List C document to establish work authorization.  Next, utilize Section 3 for both rehiring and re-verification purposes by entering the document information and the date of rehire in the spaces provided in Section 3.  If the current version of Form I-9 is different from the previously completed Form I-9, you must complete Section 3 on the current version.  Sign and date Section 3.
2. Laminated Social Security Card
Q:  “May we accept laminated social security cards?”
A:  It appears that guidance is lacking from USCIS on this issue.  An excerpt from a Q&A between immigration attorneys and USCIS regarding laminated social security cards demonstrates how little information is available on this issue.  LINK (See Questions 31-33)  There is no official guidance on I-9 Central (USCIS webpage for I-9 questions) or in the M-274 regarding laminated social security cards.
The rule used to be that if the card itself said “Not valid if laminated” then the card was not valid for List C purposes, so I would stick with this latest rule.  Your obligation to verify that the document is genuine based on your training still exists whether the document is laminated or not.
3. Unsigned Social Security Card
Q:  “Is an unsigned Social Security card okay for I-9 purposes?”
A:  Yes. A signature on the card is not required for the card to be valid. You may accept an unsigned Social Security card as long as the card reason¬ably appears to be genuine.
4. How Do I Set Up E-Verify?
Q:  “I am a new I-9 Administrator for my company.  I learned in training that I will be administering E-Verify once I complete the Form I-9 on the employee.  Where do I get my E-Verify log-in information or how do I log in?”
A:  The Company’s program administrator will have to log in and designate you as a user.  When a new user is created, it will ask for that person’s email.  You will receive an email with your user ID and a temporary password along with further instructions.  As I mentioned during training, you will be required to take the E-Verify online tutorial and pass a knowledge test before being able to use the system.  Once you have completed that, you will be an authorized user for your company.  If no one in the office has the log-in information, you can reach E-Verify customer service by phone at 888-464-4218 or by e-mail at E-Verify@dhs.gov. The E-Verify rules do not condone the sharing of passwords and user information, so it is important that you have your own log-in information.
5. Seasonal Employee Issues
Q:  “We have seasonal help.  Should we make a new I-9 for them every time they are rehired?”
A:  It depends on whether or not your seasonal help simply goes inactive during the time they are gone or they are terminated.
 INACTIVE:  If the employee is inactive, then nothing needs to be done because the employee was never terminated in the first place.
 TERMINATED:  If the employee is terminated at the end of their seasonal work every year, then when they are rehired for the next season, you can remove that employee’s I-9 from the terminated binder of company I-9s, and complete Section 3, Part B, which is the portion for rehire.  Remember:  If the employee’s I-9 is older version (only one page), use Page 2 of the NEW form I-9 by recording the employee’s name at the top of Section 2 and completing Section 3 with the date of rehire and your signature and the date.  You will “rehire” them for I-9 purposes every season, so it is possible that you could have multiple Page 2s for each of those seasonal workers.
6. Section 1, Alien Authorized to Work
Q:  “The instructions for the Form I-9 say that an employee may record “N/A” as the expiration date for their employment authorization in Section 1. Why and how is this possible if this spot is reserved for employees who are not citizens or permanent residents with the indefinite right to work in the United States?”
A:  Individuals who are from the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Palau, refugees, or asylees are examples of people who would record “N/A” in the expiration date portion of Section 1.  Individuals in these statuses are authorized to work indefinitely, but they are not citizens or permanent residents, so they need to check the fourth box in Section 1, which is the “Alien Authorized to Work” box.”
7. Document Number for Employment Authorization Cards
Q:  “There are two numbers on the face of the employment authorization card, an A/USCIS Number and a Receipt Number.  Which document number should we record in Section 2 for these documents?”
A:  You can use whichever number you would like since they both identify the document and person, but we say to be consistent with whatever choice is made by the company, i.e. all I-9 Administrators should be using either the A/USCIS Number or the receipt Number.  It is a good practice to use the A/USCIS Number since it is the first number to appear on the card and it has fewer digits, which means fewer possible mistakes in transcribing the number onto Section 2 of the Form I-9.
8. Administering I-9s for Remote Employees
Q:  “I know the I-9 Administrator who completes I-9s for the company needs to be trained, so can I do I-9 Administration through Skype for our company’s remote locations?”
A:  No.  Most of the time technology enhances efficiency and makes our lives easier, however, in this case, it does not aid the I-9 Administrator.  The purpose of the Form I-9 and having a trained I-9 Administrator complete Section 2 of the Form I-9 is so that a company representative can physically be with the employee to verify whether the original documents presented by the employee reasonably appear genuine and the identity of the employee.  By remotely completing this process via Skype or webcam, the main purpose of I-9 administration is frustrated.
Instead, the company should train an I-9 Administrator for that remote location or have the employee complete the I-9 at the main office before going to work at the remote location.
9. Pre-filling information into Section 2
Q:  “Is it okay to type in the company’s information into Section 2 versus handwriting it every time I hire someone new?”
A:  Yes, you may type in the information in Section 2 such as the full legal business name, physical address of the company, and I-9 Administrator’s full legal name.  The I-9 Administrator must still physically sign Section 2, however.
This method seems to be more efficient to Human Resources personnel, but it has some drawbacks and creates inefficiencies during the company’s annual I-9 audit.  For example:
• If you plan to pre-type information in Section 2 and keep a stack of printed I-9s in your desk drawer, you run the risk of not using the current Form I-9 every time you hire someone.
• Pre-typing the I-9 Administrator’s name can also be an issue if other I-9 Administrators choose to use this semi-pre-prepared form and do not know how to make proper corrections on the Form I-9.
We advise that all I-9 Administrators visit www.uscis.gov and print the Form I-9, instructions, and list of acceptable documents each time an I-9 is completed.  The I-9 Administrator may still type in the basic Section 2 information, but this is not in advance of the hiring, so many of the dangers are avoided.
10.  Spanish Forms I-9
Q:  There is a Spanish language version of the Form I-9.  Can I just use this form for my Spanish-speaking employees?
A:  No.  The Spanish language version of the Form I-9 is only valid for use in Puerto Rico.  It is acceptable, however, to use the Spanish version of the form as a reference guide.  Some employers have printed the Spanish language form, instructions, and list of acceptable documents and laminated them for use with employees who do not speak or read English.

As a trainer with the Corporate Immigration Compliance Institute, I am often asked specific questions regarding situations that I-9 Administrators run into with the Form I-9 and its processes. Below I am providing actual questions and answers I have encountered through I-9 Administrator and Immigration Compliance Officer training sessions that will hopefully act as a quick reference guide to I-9 Administrators dealing with similar issues.

 
ICE Best Employment Practices
IMAGE Best Employment Practices
Use E-Verify, the DHS employment eligibility verification program, to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires.
Use the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) for wage reporting purposes. Make a good faith effort to correct and verify the names and Social Security numbers of the current workforce and work with employees to resolve any discrepancies.
Establish a written hiring and employment eligibility verification policy.
Establish an internal compliance and training program related to the hiring and employment verification process, including completion of Form I-9, how to detect fraudulent use of documents in the verification process, and how to use E-Verify and SSNVS.
Require the Form I-9 and E-Verify process to be conducted only by individuals who have received appropriate training and include a secondary review as part of each employee's verification to minimize the potential for a single individual to subvert the process.
Arrange for annual Form I-9 audits by an external auditing firm or a trained employee not otherwise involved in the Form I-9 process.
Establish a procedure to report to ICE credible information of suspected criminal misconduct in the employment eligibility verification process.
Ensure that contractors and/or subcontractors establish procedures to comply with employment eligibility verification requirements. Encourage contractors and/or subcontractors to incorporate IMAGE Best Practices and when practicable incorporate the use of E-Verify in subcontractor agreements.
Establish a protocol for responding to letters or other information received from federal and state government agencies indicating that there is a discrepancy between the agency's information and the information provided by the employer or employee (for example, "no match" letters received from the Social Security Administration) and provide employees with an opportunity to make a good faith effort to resolve the discrepancy when it is not due to employer error.
Establish a tip line mechanism (inbox, email, etc.) for employees to report activity relating to the employment of unauthorized workers, and a protocol for responding to credible employee tips.
Establish and maintain appropriate policies, practices and safeguards to ensure that authorized workers are not treated differently with respect to hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee or during the Form I-9, E-Verify or SSNVS processes because of citizenship status or national origin.
Maintain copies of any documents accepted as proof of identity and/or employment authorization for all new hires.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is actively engaged in immigration compliance enforcement against employers. Many employers believe that by simply completing a Form I-9 for the company's employees, they are in compliance. Unfortunately, this is a myth. In fact, ICE has issued a list of 12 best employment practices it believes all employers should be doing in order to be in full compliance with the immigration regulations, and they are outlined below.
 
Some States Require E-Verify, Too! Here's a List of States that Require E-Verify and Who They Say Should Be Participating

State-by-State E-Verify Law Application

When we discuss I-9 compliance with employers, E-Verify always comes up as part of the process that should be implemented by the employers in order to comply with federal immigration regulations.  However, we do not often talk about state immigration regulations.  Many states are enacting laws that require employers to use E-Verify when hiring their employees.  Below is a list of states that currently have E-Verify laws on the books and an explanation of who is affected by those laws.  

   
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