Using Notaries to sign on a Electronic Form i-9

Is it possible to use an eNotary (electronic notary) on the Form I-9?

There is no prohibition in the laws governing the I-9 that would preclude a Notary, acting as the employer’s authorized representative, from using an eNotary (electronic notary) to sign the Form I-9 as long as all of the Form I-9 requirements are met.

The notary would need to physically examine the documents the employee presents to establish identity and work authorization and determine whether the documents presented reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the individual. The employee must be physically present with the examiner of the documents during the examination. The person who examines the documents must be the same person who completes and signs Section 2.

In addition, if a Form I-9 is completed electronically, the form and process used must be in compliance with 8 CFR 274a.2(e)-(i). Online audio-video conference technology is not an acceptable method of examining documents for the purpose of the Form I-9.

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USCIS Will Issue Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents

USCIS Will Issue Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents

On April 19, USCIS announced it was redesigning the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS will begin issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017.

Some Green Cards and EADs issued after May 1, 2017, may still display the existing design format as USCIS will continue using existing card stock until current supplies are depleted. Both the existing and the new Green Cards and EADs will remain valid until the expiration date shown on the card.

Both the new and existing versions of the Green Card and EAD are acceptable for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification and E-Verify. Some older Green Cards do not have an expiration date. These older Green Cards without an expiration date also remain valid.

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USCIS Publishes New Form I-9 for use

USCIS  New Form I-9 is Now Live!

USCIS published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. employers may continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of 03/08/2013 N. through Jan. 21, 2017. By Jan. 22, 2017, employers must use the revised form.

These are some of the changes in the new version:

  • Employees only need to provide other last names used in Section 1, rather than all names used.
  • The certification in Section 1 for certain foreign nationals takes less time to complete.
  • There are additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators.
  • There is a dedicated area to enter additional information that employers have been required to notate in the margins of the form.

Also, when the revised Form I-9 is completed on a computer, users will see:

  • Checks to certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly.
  • Drop-down lists and calendars.
  • Instructions on the screen that users can access to complete each field.
  • Buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form, and clear the form to start over.

Employers should continue to follow the existing storage and retention rules for all of their previously completed Forms I-9. Read the USCIS News Release, and visit I-9 Central for more information.

Remember to register for the EMPTRUST webinar on December 8th, at 2 PM EST to learn about the new Form I-9 and staty up to date. This is free to all our customers and comes with lots of practical examples on improving compliance.

To register USE Webinar for New Form I-9 with USCIS or use copy and paste this link to your browser


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New Form I-9 Approved by OMB

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), approved the final version of the new Form I-9 on August 25, 2016. The accompanying Notice of Action issued by OMB allows for a 150-day period from the date of approval for employers to weave the new form into their processes. This will put the compliance date at January 22, 2017—meaning the current form is acceptable until that date.

As per the OMB Notice of Action, the expiration date for new form I-9 will be August 31,2019 which is consistent with previous Form I-9 validity periods. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must also update its I-9 system within 90 days to reflect the changes and indicate the revision date at the bottom of the form.

The 2016 version of the Form I-9 also introduced some new fields and requirements in the new form.

Detailed error checking for the Paper version of the Form I-9 to reduce errors and clarification of most fields usage and required items.

Other important changes include the following:

  • USCIS replaced the “Other Names Used” field in section 1 with “Other Last Names Used” in order to avoid possible discrimination issues.
  • Section 1 has been modified to request that certain foreign national employees enter either their Form I-94 number or foreign passport information.
  • Employees who provide an Alien Registration Number/USCIS number in section 1, must also indicate whether the number is in fact an A-Number or a USCIS number.
  • If the employee does not use a preparer or translator to assist in completing section 1, he or she must indicate so on a new check box labeled, “I did not use a preparer or translator.” In addition, the form enables the completion of multiple preparers and translators, each of whom must complete a separate preparer and/or translator section.
  • The USCIS has added a new “Citizenship/Immigration Status” field at the top of section 2, where the employer is expected to write the number corresponding with the citizenship/immigration status selected by the employee in section 1. For example, if the employee attested to being a U.S. citizen, the employer must write the number 1 in this new field.
  • The section 2 of the new form has a new dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form (such as TPS extensions, OPT STEM extensions, H-1B portability, etc.).
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Colorado House repeals employment verification law

Colorado House Bill 16-1114 have simplified the hiring process for organization doing business in Colorado.

The existing Colorado law, Colorado Revised Statutes Section 8-2-122, forced employers to complete an additional attestation that reaffirms the information already collected on the Form I-9.

Effective August 10, 2016, state requirements that essentially duplicated existing Federal Form I-9 employment verification requirements will no longer be necessary. With the passage of House Bill 16-1114 on 06/08/2016, signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper , Colorado employers will be relieved of the burden of completing and maintaining a separate state employment verification affirmation form.

This new law also does away with the requirement of employers to keep physical copies of the supporting documents used to establish identity and employment eligibility presented when completing a Form I-9.

The existing Colorado law, Colorado  Statutes Section 8-2-122, forced employers to complete an additional attestation that reaffirms the information already collected on the Form I-9. Colorado lawmakers determined that the existing law did nothing to prevent ineligible individuals from entering the workforce, while at the same time, placed unnecessary and redundant requirements on Colorado businesses. Also with the bill’s passage the the hefty fines and penalties imposed for non-compliance with Section 8-2-122 are gone.

Until the new law takes effect on August 10, 2016, Colorado employers should continue to complete and maintain the state required verification affirmation form for all employees hired to perform work in Colorado.

Employers should  retain the existing Colorado affirmation form and copies of the employment and identity verification document(s) for those employees hired under the old statute for the duration of their employment.

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Form I-9 – Version Updates

Form I-9 Expiry

Until further notice, employers should continue using the current Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, dated 03/31/2016.

The Spanish version of Form I-9 may be filled out by employers and employees in Puerto Rico ONLY. Spanish-speaking employers and employees in the 50 states and other U.S. territories may print this for their reference, but may only complete the form in English to meet employment eligibility verification requirements

A reminder that a new Form I-9 has been published in the Federal Register for comments and USCIS is yet to announce when the new Form I-9 will be available for use.

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E-Verify – Keeping your account active

On Aug. 1, E-Verify will begin deactivating user IDs that have not been accessed for 270 days. Log in to E-Verify with your user ID at least once every 270 days (approximately every 9 months) to avoid deactivation of your user ID. This applies only to users using the standard e-verify account and not to web services users.


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USCIS: Unsigned Green Cards OK for Form I-9 Purpose

A signature is not required for permanent resident cards, also known as green cards, to be valid for Form I-9 purposes, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Green cards are official documents issued by USCIS that can be presented as proof of identity and work authorization during the employment verification process. The agency recently announced that since February 2015, USCIS has been waiving the signature requirement for people entering the United States for the first time as lawful permanent residents after obtaining an employment visa abroad from a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. “When we issue a green card without a signature, the card will say ‘Signature Waived’ on the front and back of the card where a signature would normally be located,” the agency said.

In the past, USCIS had waived the signature requirement in limited cases for certain people, such as children under the age of consent and individuals who are physically unable to provide a signature. “I think the signature waiver will help USCIS streamline the production of the actual card itself,” said Ann Cun, senior attorney in the Meyer Law Group’s San Francisco office. “Capturing signatures that conformed to a box on a form has always been a challenge. With the added security measures our government takes through biometrics and background checks, the signature may become an obsolete security feature.” Cun said that so long as HR professionals are aware that a waived signature does not invalidate a green card, and the card reasonably appears to be genuine, the process for verifying work authorization should continue like before.

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Temporary Protected Status Extended for El Salvador

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of El Salvador for an additional 18 months, effective March 10, 2015, through Sept. 9, 2016.

Current TPS El Salvador beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from Jan. 7, 2015, through March 9, 2015. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins. USCIS will not accept applications before Jan. 7, 2015.

The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible TPS El Salvador beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of Sept. 9, 2016. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EAD until after their current one expires. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS El Salvador EADs that have a March 9, 2015, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs will now be valid through Sept. 9, 2015.

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Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against Diversified Business Consulting Group, Inc.

The Justice Department reached an agreement today with an information technology staffing agency headquartered in Maryland.  The settlement resolves the department’s claims that the company discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The department’s investigation concluded that the staffing company’s human resources personnel required non-U.S. citizens, but not U.S. citizens, to present specific types of documents during the employment eligibility verification process to establish their work authority.  The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from specifying documents that employees must present during the employment eligibility verification process based on an employee’s citizenship status or national origin.

Under the settlement agreement, Diversified will pay $7,700 in civil penalties to the United States and undergo department-provided training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.  The companys corporate office and its branches will be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements.

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