Department of Homeland Security

New Form I-9 Mandatory as of November 1, 2023

As of November 1, 2023, the newly revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (08/01/2023 edition date), must be used to verify the identity and employment authorization of all individuals hired in the United States. The new Form I-9 now includes alternative procedures for E-Verify employers to remotely examine employee documents—a welcome change and effective step towards modernizing the I-9 verification process, which previously required employers to verify identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. Additionally, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has updated its “Lists of Acceptable Documents” to provide guidance regarding the types of documents employees may present to establish their employment authorization and identity. Please contact immigration counsel to evaluate I-9 and E-Verify corporate practices in light of the new Form I-9 changes and ensure compliance to prevent the assessment of heavy civil penalties.

USCIS Reverts to 180-Day Automatic Employment Authorization Extensions

As of October 28, 2023, eligible applicants who file timely renewals of Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, will receive an automatic 180-day extension of their employment authorization. This marks the end of USCIS’s temporary final rule increasing the automatic extension period for certain EAD renewal applicants from 180 days to 540 days due to the governmental processing backlogs that caused significant employment gaps for noncitizens with pending Employment Authorization Document applications. This change comes as USCIS continues to reduce backlogs and streamline immigration processing to ensure the stability and continuity of operations for U.S. employers. Contact immigration counsel for assistance with the proper filing of Form I-765.

Department of State

Stateside Processing Pilot Program to Begin in Q1 of 2024

The U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) anticipates beginning its implementation of the Stateside Processing Visa Program in early 2024, allowing certain H and L visa holders to renew their visas in the U.S. rather than traveling to a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad for visa renewal. Stateside processing, which was previously a routine practice until its elimination in 2004, is anticipated to add convenience and flexibility to the visa renewal process and reduce backlogs at U.S. consulates abroad. The DOS has set out the criteria for the new program in a proposed Federal Register notice and further details will be provided following review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Continue to monitor Immigration Insights for the latest developments related to the stateside renewal program.

DID YOU KNOW? The Immigration Practice Group at Munsch Hardt assists foreign investors and traders with E visa applications for the establishment and development of business enterprises in the U.S. Most recently, Munsch Hardt’s Immigration Team assisted an international food conglomerate with obtaining an E-2 visa for its highly specialized foreign employee to facilitate knowledge transfers in the U.S.