When the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) releases new forms related to the immigration process, those interested in either immigrating to the U.S. or sponsoring a family member or employee in their immigration efforts need to sit up and take notice. Otherwise, an immigration process that could progress smoothly will get held up because someone filled out the wrong form and/or was unaware of new requirements.
For example, USCIS recently released an updated I-9 form. Employers who sponsor immigrants need to start using the new form, or the immigration processes for their sponsors will be held up.
What’s new about the updated I-9 form?
The new form, which went into effect on August 1, 2023, but which is not mandatory for employer use until Oct. 31, 2023, has been shortened and streamlined. This is good news for employers who tend to be hesitant about sponsoring immigrants because of all the paperwork involved in this process.
Of particular note is that the new form allows for remote document review examination, which means that employers no longer have to physically examine a workers’ required documentation if they follow the new protocols and are in good standing to use E-Verify. There is a box on the updated form where employers can indicate whether they’ve taken advantage of this option.
It is always welcome news to learn that employment-based immigration paperwork has become easier to complete. The I-9 form, which is used for immigrant and non-immigrant workers alike, is now more straightforward and modern. With that said, change often results in questions and confusion, which is understandable. Those who have concerns about the new form can benefit from seeking legal guidance.