Automation of U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94 and Release of New Immigration Form I-9
Visitors to the United States May Need to Print Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Records
U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) will begin a new program on April 30, 2013 that will end issuance of paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Records for many visitors. Foreign visitors arriving in the United States via air or sea who need to prove their lawful immigration status will be required to access their arrival information online and print their own Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Records (Form I-94). A hard copy of Form I-94 is required to begin employment, apply for a Social Security Number, and obtain a driver's license or identification document.
CBP indicated that it expects this automation to save the government an estimated $15.5 million per year. Because advance information is transmitted only for air and sea travelers, CBP will continue to issue paper Forms I-94 at land border ports of entry.
CBP will phase in the I-94 automation at air and sea ports of entry in April and May. Foreign visitors will continue to receive a paper I-94 until the automated process arrives at their port of entry. If a visitor does not receive a paper Form I-94 record to verify immigration status or employment authorization, the record number and other admission information will be available here. A CBP officer will stamp the travel document (passport) of each arriving nonimmigrant traveler showing the date of admission, class of admission and the date until which the traveler is admitted. The visitor will not need to print Form I-94 to provide to the government upon departure. A CBP Fact Sheet may be found here.
All U.S. Employers Required to Use New Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 as of May 7, 2013
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will require all U.S. employers to use its revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 as of May 7, 2013. All employers are required to complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 (Form I-9) for each new employee hired in the United States. The updated Form (Revision Date 03/08/13) includes new information fields and has been expanded to two pages. USCIS has stated that the new formatting will reduce errors and provide clearer instructions for both employees and employers. The List of Acceptable Documents has not changed.
Employers should NOT require current employees to complete the new Form I-9. The new Form will be used only for new employees or when reverifying the work authorization for current employees. The new employee may complete the Form after acceptance of the job offer, and no later than the first date of hire. The new instructions confirm that an employer has three business days to complete the Form; in the case of reverification, the employer must re-verify the document(s) before the work authorization expires.
The new Form I-9 does NOT change any requirements relating to remote hires. USCIS's position is that the employer representative who signs the attestation must be the same person who physically examines each original document to determine if it reasonably appears to be genuine and relates to the employee. An employer with remote hires may delegate the verification to a person who serves as an agent of the employer, but that agent must examine the documents and complete Section 2 or Section 3 of the Form I-9. The employer retains the liability for the actions of the agent.
A Spanish language version of the new Form is also available on the USCIS website for use in Puerto Rico only. Spanish-speaking employers and employees in the 50 states, Washington, DC, and other U.S. territories may refer to the Spanish version but must complete the English-language version of the Form.
Employers may receive monetary fines for all substantive and uncorrected technical Form I-9 violations. Penalties for these violations, which include failure to utilize the correct version of the Form I-9, range from $110 to $1,100 per violation.