Key Developments in Immigration and Employment Compliance

January 12, 2023

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will allow Ukrainians paroled in the U.S. to receive employment authorization as of November 21, 2022. This permission will occur under the Operation Enduring Welcome Act and Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) Act. Should someone parole under either program, they can use an unexpired Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) with a class admission of “UHP” as an acceptable List A document. In addition, they may use this form to show their identity and work authorization when completing the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) process.

Afghan parolees with an unexpired Form I-94 will have a class of admission “OAR” if their parole has not terminated. This Form I-94 meets the requirements for Form I-9 for 90 days starting from the parolee’s hiring date. However, once this timeframe passes, the parolee must present an unrestricted Social Security card or an unexpired employment authorization document (EAD) with an acceptable List B identity document.

Lists of Acceptable Documents

Employees have many choices when presenting acceptable documents to complete Form I-9. Of these choices, 41 combinations do not appear on the List of Acceptable Documents. In addition, 34 of these documents will remain acceptable even after the USCIS deals with its backlogs and COVID-related flexibilities expire. Though the USCIS has not yet made it happen, the agency has announced its intention to keep these documents in one place.

Technology Use and Discrimination

The Department of Justice’s Immigrant & Employee Rights (IER) Section has expressed concern about discrimination when employers use electronic systems to recruit, screen, or hire applicants. As such, the IER has evaluated these systems and found that several platforms utilize a drop-down menu. In this investigation, the IER realized these menus often resulted in employers accidentally posting advertisements for jobs that contained illegal restrictions on citizenship status. As a result, the IER declared they would hold employers liable for the violations, not the software company.

Remote Work

The USCIS has considered making the remote examination of required documents for the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) permanent. Alongside this consideration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed Optional Alternatives to the Physical Document Examination Associated with Form I-9. The USCIS has said it might publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) as early as a year from now, depending on the comments about the rulemaking. Once the USCIS publishes a second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the DHS will have another comment period. After the comment period ends and they review the comments, the DHS will issue a final rule.

Final Thoughts

As these changes show, regulations governing employment and immigration issues frequently change. These changes can become particularly confusing when it comes time to complete Form I-9. The easiest way to ensure compliance is to use an electronic I-9 management system. This system guides employers through the entire process and securely stores the forms for easy review at any time.

Automate your employment eligibility verification today with the ensured compliance of I-9 Compliance.