Posts Tagged ‘I-9’

I-9 Workshop on August 20th

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 by W. Scott Railton

The attorneys at Cascadia, in coordination with the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce, will be presenting an I-9 Workshop on August 20th. The workshop is free for anyone to attend. It will take place at the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce, at 119 N. Commercial St., Ste 110, Bellingham. The workshop will be from 8:00 to 9:30 AM.  Here is a link to the Chamber’s announcement.

The purpose of the workshop is to assist businesses and their HR teams with worksite compliance for immigration issues, with a focus on I-9 completion and management, social security no-match letters, and ICE enforcement actions.

In the past year, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of businesses that receive Notices of Inspections for their I-9s. ICE can demand to see a company to produce all their I-9 records within 3 business days, which can surprise businesses sometimes. As it is said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

We expect that attendees will be able to walk away from the workshop better prepared to address workplace compliance issues at their businesses.

We are also available to discuss worksite compliance concerns with businesses, by appointment.

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Social Security Administration Is Sending Employers Send “No-Match” Letters Once Again

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 by W. Scott Railton

The Social Security Administration announced recently that is will recommence issuing “no-match” letters to employers and payroll companies.  No-match letters are issued when the agency receives payments or other information which is not associated with the correct social security number.

As the correspondence will indicate, the no-match could be indicative of a records issue:  perhaps the social security number was inputted incorrectly, or perhaps there is incorrect information on the individual for which there is not a match.  No-matches however also may be indication that an employee is not able to work lawfully in the country.

What is an employer to do?  It is usually not a good idea to ignore such information, as avoiding the issue may create issues if the government comes to audit I-9s or otherwise investigate unlawful employment issues.  In all likelihood, it may also be prudent to draft a letter to the employee, giving them opportunity to contact the Social Security Administration and correct the issue, followed up with periodic, documented inquiries on the status of such efforts.

It may be prudent to seek counsel on the matter, and we are happy to assist.  The Administration has ramped up efforts to enforce worksite compliance with immigration laws. The fines can be significant, and if an employer or even HR Representative has constructive knowledge that they are employing someone illegally, there is the possibility of criminal sanctions. Enforcement actions have hit a broad range of industries and regions.  An employer who is holding no-match letters may be deemed to have constructive knowledge of an issue, and so taking steps to address the issue is prudent.


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I-9 Updates from USCIS

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 by W. Scott Railton

It has been said that the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form is the most complicated two page form the U.S. Government issues. Granted, the form looks simple enough. The law requires employers to verify every new employee’s work authorization. Matters get more complicated in the actual execution and maintenance of the forms for a workforce. Recently, the government also nearly doubled its fine structure for enforcement actions related to this form.

USCIS is trying to help. They issue regular updates, and are constantly updating their M-274 Handbook for Employers. They offer regular training seminars. We also offer immigration legal services for Human Resources Departments on the I-9 employment eligibility issues.

Here is USCIS’s most recent Q&A update on I-9 processes:

How does an employer whose business is open and operational over the weekend count the 3 business days to complete Section 2 of Form I-9 when the human resources office is closed during this time?

Employers are required to complete Form I-9 within 3 business days of the employee’s first day of work for pay. If the business is operational, this counts towards the 3-day time frame for Form I-9 completion.

Must the employer be present while Form I-9 is being completed by the employee?

Form I-9 regulations and statutes do not require an employer to be present when an employee is completing Section 1 of Form I-9. DHS regulations require that a newly hired employee complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of employment for pay. The examiner of the documents and the employee must both be physically present during the examination of the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents when completing Section 2 of Form I-9. The employer must complete Section 2 of the form no later than the third business day from when the employee starts working for pay.

Can Section 1 be auto-populated in the case of an electronically prepared Form I-9?

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. Only 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.

In Section 2 of Form I-9, which address should be listed as the employer’s address?

If a company has multiple locations, the person signing Section 2 of Form I-9 should use the local address of the hiring site, not the main address of the parent company or headquarters.

Is a signature stamp acceptable for Section 2 of Form I-9?

No. The employer’s and employee’s handwritten (or electronic, if applicable) signature is required to complete Form I-9.

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Getting Admitted to the United States

Friday, October 12th, 2012 by W. Scott Railton

I’m pleased to see that West Publications has published “Visa Solutions for International Students, Scholars, and Sponsors: What You Need to Know.” I am the author of Chapter 3, entitled “Getting Admitted to the United States.”

The book is an introductory guide for students and scholars traveling to the United States. In it, students can learn about every aspect of the visa process, including obtaining the visa, getting admitted, maintaining lawful status while in the U.S., and working in the United States while in student status. The book includes chapters on F-1 and J-1 visas, program sponsorship, international medical graduates, and I-9 programs for institutions of higher education. The principal author and editor for the book is my colleague Lisa Ellis, who graciously invited my participation, along with several other respected attorneys and professionals.  My chapter of course focuses on what students and scholars can expect of the inspection process at ports of entry and in dealing with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


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