USCIS has recently announced a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. While Forms I-9 in employers’ files remain valid if they were completed during the validity period of the prior form edition, employers should be now using the new edition of the form with the 10/21/2019 version date. Employers that require additional time to make the necessary updates to their business practices may continue using the old edition of the form with the 7/17/2017 revision date until April 30, 2020, but must use only the 10/21/2019 edition after that. The recommended best practice is to commence use of the new form edition at this time, without delaying implementation. The changes to Form I-9 reflected in the new version are minor and are to Section 1 and Instructions to Form I-9 only.
The Public Charge Rule:
Subsequent to the Supreme Court stay of the injunction pertaining to the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule, USCIS is starting to implement the rule, originally issued in August 2019, as of February 24, 2020. Illinois remains the only state enjoined by a federal court from the rule implementation as of January 30, 2020. Under the Public Charge rule, USCIS will consider a number of factors, including an intended immigrant’s age, health, income, education, skills, family size and several others, to determine the likelihood of the foreign national becoming a public charge. Except in Illinois, USCIS will apply the new rule to applications and petitions for immigration benefits filed on or after February 24, 2020. The rule published in August 2019 disallowed DHS’s consideration of a foreign national’s applications for and/or receipt of certain non-cash public benefits prior to October 15, 2019 (i.e., the initially intended effective date of the Public Charge rule). With the duration of the recently removed nationwide injunction on the rule implementation, DHS will interpret this prohibition as applying for such public benefits prior to February 24, 2020. The same approach will be used when considering receipt of public benefits by applicants for extension of stay and change of status before October 15, 2019. USCIS will be publishing updated forms and instructions for petitions and applications submission in early February. After February 24th, everywhere other than in Illinois, USCIS will reject pre-Public Charge rule editions of forms if the filings are postmarked on or after February 24, 2020.