ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Home Page


Immigration Daily

Archives

Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board

Resources

Blogs

Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation

Attorney2Attorney

CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network

EB-5

移民日报

About ILW.COM

Connect to us

Make us Homepage

Questions/Comments


SUBSCRIBE

Immigration Daily

 




The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of
free information!
Copyright
© 1995-
ILW.COM,
American
Immigration LLC.

View RSS Feed

I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

description

  1. Attorney Pleads Guilty To Falsifying Visa Documents for H-1B Workers

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	H1B Fraud.jpg 
Views:	62 
Size:	6.1 KB 
ID:	1156

    A Virginia attorney, Sunila Dutt, pled guilty in a New Jersey federal court to criminal charges for submitting false documents to USCIS and Department of Labor and obstructing an investigation. These acts were part of a scheme to fraudulently obtain H-1B visas for foreign workers of two information technology companies, SCM Data Inc. and MMC Systems Inc.

    SCM Data and MMC Systems conspired with Dutt to falsify paperwork submitted to the federal government that stated the workers had full-time “in house” positions with the companies. In fact, SCM Data and MMC Systems would only pay the foreign IT consultants after placing them in roles working for third-party clients. Dutt also provided fabricated employment documents to the DOL after it started an audit of both companies. Furthermore, Dutt advised one of the foreign workers to lie to the USCIS about living arrangements to extend visa status.

    Dutt will be sentenced in February 2017 at which time he faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
  2. New I-9 Form, effective January 22, 2017

    By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	new I-9 form little.jpg 
Views:	217 
Size:	3.4 KB 
ID:	1141

    On November 14, 2016, the USCIS finally issued the new I-9 form, effective January 22, 2017. The current I-9 form continues to be in effect; however, during the interim period before January 22, 2017, an employer may use either the current 2013 version or the 2017 version. The new I-9 form has an expiration date of August 31, 2019.

    The most significant change is to make the downloadable I-9 form into a “smart” form. What does a “smart” form mean? It is not an electronic I-9 form. The downloadable I-9 form, using an Adobe reader, has been enhanced with error checking which is designed to prevent the most common mistakes. An example is if you fail to fully complete section 1 of the I-9 form, you will receive an alert that you did not enter data into all of the required fields.

    Employers filling out the smart I-9 version must still print the form, obtain signatures, monitor reverifications and updates. Second, if you use the smart form and make a mistake, your company will be held to the same standard of review when faced with an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) inspection.

    With the addition of the “smart” form, there are three types of I-9 forms: paper, “smart”, and electronic.
    Some of the other changes are:
    (1) Replacing the “Other Names Used” field in Section 1 with “Other Last Names Used.” This will avoid employees writing their nicknames in this field;

    (2) Modifying Section 1 to request certain employees to enter either their I-94 number or foreign passport information, rather than both;

    (3) Requiring you designate whether the employee’s number is an Alien (A) number or USCIS number, if using the smart form (however the numbers are the same though the more recent green cards refer to the number as USCIS);

    (4) Requiring “N/A” be entered instead of blanks in certain fields;

    (5) Replacing the word “date” to “today’s date”, next to signature boxes (this may help some people from entering their birthdate or from backdating the signature);

    (6) Providing a box for employees to check if they did not use a preparer or translator;

    (7) Modifying the I-9 form by adding a supplemental third page if using multiple preparers and/or translators;

    (8) Adding an area in Section 2 to enter additional information for TPS extensions, OPT STEM extensions and H-1B portability to avoid having to note this information in the margins of the I-9 form; and

    (9) Increasing the pages of instructions from 6 to 15.

    Although most of the changes may not appear significant, I would advise employers to seek legal advice from an immigration attorney as to compliance with the new I-9 form.
  3. USCIS Offers New Guidance on Pre-Population of I-9 Forms


    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	uscis_logo.gif 
Views:	48 
Size:	6.1 KB 
ID:	1138

    In the most recent E-Verify Connection, Number 33, released in November 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has re-visited the issue of the “pre-population” or “auto-population” of employee data into section 1 of an electronic I-9 and offered clear guidance.

    What is “pre-population” or “auto-population” of employee data? It is when portions of the I-9 form have already been filled out by a computer program before the employee or employer has started to complete the I-9 form.

    The E-Verify Connection raised and answered the following question: can Section 1 be auto-populated in the case of an electronically prepared Form I-9? Answer: “Form I-9, Section 1, cannot be auto-populated by an electronic system that collects information during the on-boarding process for a new hire.”

    Agencies have differed on Pre-population of Section 1 Data

    Three different agencies have taken positions on whether an employer can pre-populate portions of section 1 of the I-9 form and provided differing views.

    USCIS

    USCIS first addressed the issue in August 2012 and stated they were “not opposed to auto-filling Section 1 of Form I-9 by a company’s human resources system provided the employee and employer review and complete the attestation. Additionally, if Section 1 of Form I-9 is being completed on behalf of the employee, then the Preparer-Translator section must be completed.”

    However, six months later, USCIS said that employers should not electronically pre-populate section 1, even if the employee has the opportunity to review the information before signing. Then, at a later date, the USCIS stated it was not taking a position on the issue.

    OSC

    The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) said in a Technical Assistance Letter (TAL), dated August 20, 2013, it discouraged the practice of pre-population because it "increases the likelihood of including inaccurate or outdated information.... (which) may lead an employer to reject documents presented or demand specific documents for Section 2 purposes.“ Additionally, the OSC noted that pre-populating section 1 may be a problem if the new hire was not proficient in English.

    ICE

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) originally stated section 1 pre-population in an electronic I-9 was permissible if the employer also completed the preparer and/or translator section. In early 2013, ICE changed its position to that it was never permissible regardless of whether the preparer and/or translator section was used and regardless of whether the employee inputted the information that is pre-populated into the system. But in October 2013, ICE changed its position to it had no specific position on the issue and advised employers to simply follow the “regulations.” However, the regulations currently do not address the specific issue of pre-population in Section 1. Additionally, it stated it would evaluate the matter on a case by case basis.

    Why is the Issue of Pre-Population Important?

    In a Notice of Inspection, ICE analyzes an employer’s I-9 forms. If it deems the pre-population of section 1 to be a substantive violation, the employer is subject to a penalty. If all the employer’s I-9 forms were pre-populated, then that would be subject to a penalty of about $2000 (under new increased penalties) per I-9 form in error.

    Some Section 2 Fields Can Be Pre-Populated
    In this same E-Verify Connection, the USCIS stated the following fields can be auto-populated in Section 2: Employer’s Business or Organization Name, Employer’s Business or Organization Address (Street Number and Name), City or Town, State, and Zip Code.

    Conclusion

    This new guidance is just another example of the perils of the I-9 form and the need for employers to conduct internal I-9 audits under the supervision of an immigration compliance attorney.
  4. New I-9 Form to be Effective January 22, 2017

    By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	uscis_logo.gif 
Views:	59 
Size:	6.1 KB 
ID:	1122

    The USCIS is finally going to be issuing a new I-9 form, which will be effective January 22, 2017. The current I-9 form continues to be in effect even though it states that it expires on March 31, 2016.

    This new I-9 form has cleared its final hurdle – approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Although the new form will not be for mandatory use until January 22, 2017, the USCIS must publish it by November 22, 2016. If it follows the pattern of the 2013 I-9 form, employers will be able to use either the 2013 I-9 form or the 2017 I-9 form for the period between November 22, 2016 and January 21, 2017. The new I-9 form will have an expiration date of August 31, 2019, which is consistent with previous I-9 validity periods.

    To date, the USCIS has not published a draft of the new I-9 form although it has stated changes that will be included in the 2017 I-9 form. Some of these changes are:
    (1) Replacing the “Other Names Used” field in Section 1 with “Other Last Names Used.” This will avoid employees writing their nicknames in this field;
    (2) Modifying Section 1 to request certain employees to enter either their I-94 number or foreign passport information, rather than both;
    (3) Providing a box for employees to check if they did not use a preparer or translator;
    (4) Modifying the I-9 form to enable the use of multiple preparers and translators; and
    (5) Adding an area in Section 2 to enter additional information for TPS extensions, OPT STEM extensions and H-1B portability in order to avoid having to note this information in the margins of the I-9 form.

    Stay tuned as I will publish the new I-9 form as soon as it is released, which hopefully will be before November 22, 2016.
    Tags: 2017, i-9 form, uscis Add / Edit Tags
  5. Employer’s Failure to Notify USCIS Costs $183,000

    By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	H-1B.jpg 
Views:	44 
Size:	6.3 KB 
ID:	1100

    A Department of Labor (DOL) Administrative Law Judge ruled in Matter of: Administrator, Wage, and Hour Division v. ME Global, Inc. that the employer failed to perfect the bona fide termination of its employee; therefore, ME Global owed the employee $183,000.

    ME Global hired Petar Peric on a three-year H-1B Visa in 2008. After only two months, ME Global fired Peric for unsafe conduct. Although the company notified Peric of his termination, it failed to provide notification to the USCIS of his termination.

    Under immigration laws, when an employer terminates an H-1B Visa holder, it must inform the employee, notify the USCIS, and offer to pay transportation costs for the employee to return to his home country.

    In 2010, Peric filed a complaint with DOL alleging he was owed back wages because of ME Global’s failure to notify the USCIS. Essentially, Peric argued that he was “benched” – placed in non-productive status.

    ME Global argued the complaint was beyond the 12 month statute of limitations; thus, it should be dismissed. The ALJ rejected that argument and found it was a continuing violation and was timely filed as long as it was filed within one year of when Peric left the United States. Since he filed the complaint in 2010 before leaving the U.S. in June 2011, it was not time-barred.

    Thus, the ALJ ruled ME Global owed Peric back wages from November 2008, when he was fired, until June 2011, when he left the United States.

    As you see, the employer’s failure to properly notify the USCIS of an employee’s discharge was costly.
Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Put Free Immigration Law Headlines On Your Website

Immigration Daily: the news source for legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers Enter your email address here: