Month: April 2016

by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin No Comments

Expired I-9 Form Remains Valid for Use Until “Smart” I-9 Becomes Available

The I-9 Form that employers use to verify work authorization in the United States expired on March 31, 2016.  However, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. employers should continue to use the recently expired I-9 Form until the new “Smart” I-9 Form becomes available.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is currently working on the implementation of a “Smart” I-9 Form.  This new “Smart” I-9 Form is designed to reduce error and make the form easier to complete.  In particular, the new “Smart” I-9 Form will contain new drop-down menus, error messages, and field checks, among other enhancements, to help ensure accurate data entry for employment verification.

At present, the “Smart” I-9 Form is in the notice and comment stage of rule making where U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services publishes the document and any proposed changes to the Federal Register and gives the public 30 days to comment.  The notice and comment period is scheduled to be concluded on April 27, 2016.  Thereafter, once U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services considers the public’s comments, the new “Smart” I-9 Form will be sent to the Office of Management and Budget for approval and publication.  Once approved, employers should begin to use the new “Smart” I-9 Form which will be available for download at: www.uscis.gov.

by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin No Comments

USCIS Announces that the H-1B Cap has been Reached

On April 7, 2016 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it had received more than the statutorily allowed number of H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2017.  As such, USCIS will no longer accept H-1B petitions for this fiscal year.  In the one week that USCIS accepted H-1Bs the agency received more than 236,000 H-1B petitions.  Under the law a maximum of 65,000 H-1B petitions may be issued per year, in addition to a limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the Master’s Cap for those with advanced degrees from U.S. colleges and universities.

Since the H-1B Cap has been closed, USCIS performed the random computer-generated lottery process to select which H-1B petitions will be counted under the Cap.  In the coming weeks USCIS will reject and return all unselected H-1B petitions with their filing fees.  Those who received an H-1B Cap number will begin to receive receipt notices.  USCIS will continue to accept H-1B Cap exempt petitions.

by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin No Comments

E-Passports Required for Entry into U.S. on Visa Waiver Program

Starting April 1, 2016, E-Passports are required for all non-citizens who plan to travel to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program.  E-Passports are enhanced security passports that have a machine-readable zone on the front biographic page that has a digital chip which contains the identity information of the traveler.  E-Passports are being required by the Visa Waiver Program because they increase security, provide greater protection against tampering, and protect against fraud.  Non-citizens seeking to enter the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program can obtain an E-Passport from the standard passport issuing authority.

 

 

 

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