U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS") this year introduced a new version of Form I-9. Since then, employers have been permitted to continue to use the October 21, 2019, version of Form I-9. Beginning November 1, 2023, employers must use the updated I-9 (version date August 1, 2023). There are a number of changes to the August 1 version, which employment and immigration partner Carlos A. Ortiz addressed in an earlier client alert available here.
In addition to those changes, USCIS has updated the list of acceptable documents an employer may accept for identification and work authorization to include certain receipt notices. In short, a receipt notice, which is also known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action, is usually the initial correspondence USCIS will issue following its receipt of an application or petition seeking an immigration designation and/or document. Employees may present certain receipt notices in lieu of List A or B and C documents, however, each receipt notice has a limited validity period, and that documentation must be updated by the end of that validity period for lawful employment to continue. Employers are also obligated to update Form I-9 with the updated documentation.
An example of an acceptable receipt notice involves an application to replace a lost, stolen or damaged document. Depending on the document to be replaced, this receipt notice may be submitted in lieu of List A or B and C documents. This receipt notice would be valid up to 90 days from the date of hire or, when reverifying, up to 90 days from the date the employment authorization expired. Importantly, an employer is not permitted to accept a second receipt notice at the end of the initial validity period.
Employers should contact their Thompson Coburn attorney to review their I-9 policies.
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