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On November 24, 2015, USCIS published a notice in the Federal Register [80 FR 73200] of proposed changes to the Form I-9, thereby initiating a 60 day public comment period through January 25, 2015.  The proposed changes aim to reduce the commission of technical errors on the Form I-9 and increase functionality for customers in completing the form on their computer as downloaded from the USCIS website.

Some of the proposed technical changes include preferences whereby the form:

  • Assists the customer by checking the fields to ensure information has been entered properly.
  • Offers additional space to enter multiple preparers and translators; additional space to enter further information that employers are currently required to note in the margins of the form.
  • Features drop-down lists and calendars.
  • Generates a quick-response matrix barcode (or QR code) once the form is printed — this can be used in the audit process.
  • Provides instructions to help the customer complete each field.

Some of the proposed substantive changes include:

  • Section 1:  instead of requiring employees to provide all other names used, only require other last names used.
  • Section 1:  streamline the certification for certain foreign nationals.
  • Instructions:  adhering to USCIS’ practice by separating the instructions from the form itself.
  • Instructions:  revise explanation of purpose of form for employers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands (CNMI).
  • Instructions:   clarify instructions for completing the form for both employers and employees and the proper use of the Spanish version of the form.

Stakeholders wanting to submit a comment may do so by following the steps below:

  • Visit the website: http://www.regulations.gov
  • Enter the code in the search box: USCIS-2006-0068
  • Click the button: Comment Now!
  • Note: comments submitted will be posted and will include any personal information provided

At the conclusion of the 60 day public comment period, USCIS may make revisions to the Form I-9 based on comments received and will publish a second notice for comment.  The public will have an additional 30 day period to provide comment on the proposed changes.  USCIS will keep the public apprised of the comment periods and any changes to the Form I-9 through their site: I-9 Central.

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Photo of Laura Foote Reiff‡ Laura Foote Reiff‡

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies,

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.

Photo of Rebecca B. Schechter ‡ Rebecca B. Schechter ‡

Rebecca Schechter focuses her practice on business immigration and compliance, representing multi-national corporations midsized companies, and startups, as well as individual clients. She has experience with all areas of employment-based immigration, particularly H-1B, L-1, O-1 and E-2 petitions, as well as outstanding researcher…

Rebecca Schechter focuses her practice on business immigration and compliance, representing multi-national corporations midsized companies, and startups, as well as individual clients. She has experience with all areas of employment-based immigration, particularly H-1B, L-1, O-1 and E-2 petitions, as well as outstanding researcher petitions and labor certification applications. Rebecca regularly assists GT clients with global immigration matters, including business and work visas to countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. She also works on state and federal I-9 and E-Verify audits. Rebecca has a thorough understanding of third party contractor issues and experience handling complex naturalization, deportation defense, family and employment-based adjustment applications.

Admitted in Maryland and Connecticut. Not admitted in Virginia. Practice limited to federal immigration practice.