On May 12, the Department of Homeland Security published a temporary final rule to change certain H-2B requirements to help secure the U.S. food supply chain and reduce the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency on H-2B employers. The temporary flexibilities are available through Sept. 11, 2020.
The temporary final rule allows employers that have properly filed H-2B extension of stay petitions and Form ATT-H2B, Attestation for Employers Seeking to Employ H-2B Nonimmigrant Workers Essential to the U.S. Food Supply Chain (PDF) between certain dates to begin employing certain H-2B workers while USCIS adjudicates their petition. The workers must currently be in H-2B status but working for a different employer. If so, a new employer may begin employing the H-2B workers on or after the date that USCIS receives the extension of stay petition (as stated on Form I-797, Notice of Action, receipt notice) or the date USCIS acknowledges in writing receipt of a properly filed attestation, Form ATT-H2B but no earlier than the start date of employment listed on the H-2B petition.
The temporary rule applies if USCIS received the new employer’s extension of stay H-2B petition on or after March 1, and it remains pending as of May 14, or USCIS receives the H-2B petition between May 14 and Sept. 11, 2020. In both cases, USCIS must also receive a Form ATT-H2B
Under this temporary final rule, the new employer may employ the H-2B worker while the extension of stay petition is pending, for a period not to exceed 60 days starting from the:
- Received Date on Form I-797 (Notice of Action) acknowledging receipt of the petition requesting an extension of stay, which includes the attestation (Form ATT-H2B
- Date USCIS acknowledges in writing receipt of the properly filed attestation (Form ATT-H2B) submitted while the H-2B petition is pending; or
- Start date of employment if the start date of employment indicated in the H-2B petition occurs after the filing.
The H-2B employee’s unexpired Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, indicating his or her H-2B status, along with the employee’s foreign passport, qualify as a Form I-9 List A document.
To complete Section 2, you, the new employer, should enter under List A:
- The unexpired foreign passport information;
- Unexpired Form I-94 information; and
- In the Additional Information field, “60-Day Ext.” and the date you submitted the extension of stay H-2B petition (Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) to USCIS or the date you submitted Form ATT-H2B) if your petition was filed on or after March 1, 2020, and is still pending on May 14, 2020.
If USCIS denies the new petition, or if you withdraw the new petition before the 60-day period expires, USCIS will automatically terminate the H-2B worker’s employment authorization within 15 calendar days of its denial decision or the withdrawal request. You must reverify the employee’s employment authorization in Section 3 by the end of the 60-day period described above or once you receive a decision on the H-2B petition, whichever comes first. If your petition is denied or withdrawn, count 15 days from the date of the denial or withdrawal request for the date the employee’s employment authorization expires.
Employers of H-2B workers continuing employment with the same employer should continue to follow current Form I-9 guidance provided in the M-274, Handbook for Employers - Section 6.7
For more information see USCIS H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers page.
Employees, including those who attest to being lawful permanent residents (LPRs), may choose to present a List A document (evidence of identity and employment eligibility) or a combination of documents from List B (evidence of identity) and List C (evidence of employment eligibility) when completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Employers may accept Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card issued to LPRs is an acceptable List A document. These cards may have:
- No expiration date and should not be reverified. These cards were issued from 1977 - August 1989.
- A 10-year expiration date and should not be reverified.
- A two-year expiration date and should not be reverified if the card unexpired when the employee completes their Form I-9.
Documents Requiring Reverification
LPRs and conditional permanent residents may be issued temporary I-551 documents. The following documents are acceptable for Form I-9:
- The combination of an expired Permanent Resident Card and a Form I-797, Notice of Action, that indicates the card’s validity has been extended. This is acceptable List C evidence of employment authorization. At the end of the extension period, you must reverify. The employee may present any List A or List C document for reverification.
- The arrival portion of Form I-94 or Form I-94A, Arrival/Departure Record, containing an unexpired temporary I-551 stamp and a photograph of the individual. This combination of documents is an acceptable List A receipt for the Permanent Resident Card. The employee must present their Permanent Resident Card to you no later than when the stamp expires, or one year after the issuance date of the Form I-94 if the stamp does not contain an expiration date.
- A foreign passport with either a temporary I-551 stamp or I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa (MRIV). Reverification is necessary when the stamp or MRIV expires, or one year after the admission date if the stamp or MRIV does not contain an expiration date.
- MRIVs are usually issued with the following language on the visa: “UPON ENDORSEMENT SERVES AS TEMPORARY I-551 EVIDENCING PERMANENT RESIDENCE FOR 1 YEAR.” The one-year time period begins on the date of admission. If, in the rare instance, an immigrant visa is issued without the statement “FOR 1 YEAR,” you should treat the MRIV as evidence of permanent residence status for one year from the date of admission.
- If the stamp in the passport is endorsed “CR-1” and is near but not on the immigrant visa, it is still a valid endorsement.
Employers may not demand a specific document when reverifying that an employee is authorized to work. Your employee may present any document either from List A or from List C of the Lists of Acceptable Documents to demonstrate that they are still authorized to work.
Employers are also reminded that they must treat employees in a non-discriminatory manner when recruiting, hiring, firing, and verifying their identity and authorization to work.
If you feel that your employer did not hire you, treated you differently during the hiring or Form I-9 process, or terminated you because of your national origin, or immigration or citizenship status, call the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) at 1-800-255-7688 (Worker Hotline) or 1-800-237-2515 (TTY), or visit IER’s website.
You may also contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if you feel you have been discriminated against in employment based on your race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity or any other prohibited basis. Call 1-800-669-4000 or 1-800-669-6820 (TTY), or visit the EEOC website.
USCIS published an interim final rule (IFR) May 13 implementing the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018, which created requirements that encourage employers to hire U.S. workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and ensures that U.S. workers will not be displaced or encounter a competitive disadvantage for employment compared to non-U.S. workers.
“In addition to implementing legislation, this rule follows the clear guidance laid out by President Trump’s Buy American and Hire American executive order, which called on the Department of Homeland Security to propose rules to protect the interests of U.S. workers in the administration of our immigration system,” said USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow.
Importantly, the IFR requires CW-1 employers to enroll in the E-Verify program with respect to all their hiring sites in the CNMI and elsewhere in the United States, and be in good standing in the program. E-Verify is a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees by electronically matching information provided by employees on Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available to DHS and the Social Security Administration.
Please see USCIS News Release for more information.
On March 20, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19.
This temporary guidance was set to expire May 19. Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, DHS has extended this policy for an additional 30 days.
This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. See the original news release for more information on how to obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents to complete Section 2 of Form I-9.
E-Verify participants who meet the criteria and choose the remote inspection option should continue to follow current guidance and create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire. Please see COVID-19 webpage for more information.
On March 20, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19. See the news release for more information on how employers with remote employees may obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents their employees provide to complete Section 2 of Form I-9. This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely.
E-Verify participants who choose the remote inspection option should follow current guidance and create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire. Please see the E-Verify website for additional information.
USCIS recently migrated to Microsoft 365. As of April 24, we are unable to receive and answer emails sent to E-Verify@dhs.gov. If you sent an email to this email address on or after April 24 and have not received a response within 48 hours, please resend your message to the email address below:
On April 20, the Department of Homeland Security published a temporary final rule to amend certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. The temporary final rule expires on August 18, 2020.
The temporary final rule allows non-E-Verify employers that have properly filed H-2A extension of stay petitions between certain dates for workers who are currently in H-2A status but working for a different employer to begin employing such H-2A workers on or after the date that USCIS receives the extension of stay petition (as stated on the Form I-797 receipt notice) but no earlier than the start date of employment listed on the H-2A petition.
The temporary rule applies if:
USCIS received the new employer’s extension of stay H-2A petition on or after March 1, and it remains pending as of April 20 (the effective date of the rule), or USCIS receives the H-2A petition between April 20 and Aug. 18.
Under this temporary final rule, you, the new, non-E-Verify employer may employ the H-2A worker while the extension petition is pending, for a period not to exceed 45 days starting from the date of the receipt notice, or until USCIS denies your petition or you withdraw the petition, whichever comes first. The H-2A employee’s unexpired Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, indicating his or her H-2A status, along with the employee’s foreign passport, qualify as a Form I-9 List A document.
To complete Section 2, you should enter under List A:
- The unexpired foreign passport information;
- Unexpired Form I-94 information; and
- “45-Day Ext.” and the date you submitted Form I-129 to USCIS in the Additional Information field.
If USCIS denies the new petition, or if you withdraw the new petition before the 45-day period expires, USCIS will automatically terminate the H-2A worker’s employment authorization within 15 calendar days of its denial decision or the withdrawal request. You must reverify the employee’s employment authorization in Section 3 either by the end of the 45-day period from the date USCIS receives your Form I-129 or once you receive a decision on the H-2A petition, whichever comes first. If your petition is denied or withdrawn, count 15 days from the date of the denial or withdrawal request for the date the employee’s employment authorization expires. Employers of H-2A workers continuing employment with the same employer or with a new employer that is enrolled in E-Verify should continue to follow current Form I-9 guidance provided in the M-274, Handbook for Employers - Section 6.6.
For more information see USCIS H-2A temporary agricultural workers page.
Because many areas are under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 and some online renewal services have restrictions, employees may experience challenges renewing a state driver’s license, a state ID card, or other Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, List B identity document. Considering these circumstances, DHS is issuing a temporary policy regarding expired List B identity documents used to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Beginning on May 1, identity documents found in List B set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes.
When your employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has not been extended by the issuing authority you should:
- Record the document information in Section 2 under List B, as applicable; and,
- Enter the word “COVID-19” in the Additional Information Field.
Within 90 days after DHS’s termination of this temporary policy, the employee will be required to present a valid unexpired document to replace the expired document presented when they were initially hired.
Note: It is best if the employee can present the replacement of the actual document that was expired, but if necessary, the employee may choose to present a different List A or List B document or documents and record the new document information in the Additional Information Field.
When the employee later presents an unexpired document, you should:
- In the Section 2 Additional Information field: pan>
- Record the number and other required document information from the actual document presented;
- Initial and date the change.
Procedure for List B Documents extended by an Issuing Authority
If the employee’s List B identity document expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the issuing authority has extended the document expiration date due to COVID-19, the document is acceptable as a List B document for Form I-9 (not as a receipt) during the extension timeframe specified by the issuing authority.
When your employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has been extended by the issuing authority you should:
- Enter the document’s expiration date in Section 2; and,
- Enter “COVID-19 EXT” in the Additional Information Field.
Employers may also attach a copy of a webpage or other notice indicating that the issuing authority has extended the documents. Employers can confirm that their state has auto-extended the expiration date of state IDs and driver’s licenses by checking the state Motor Vehicle Administration or Department of Motor Vehicles’ website.
Note: For extended documents, the employee is not required to later present a valid unexpired List B document. span>
E-Verify participating employers should use the employee’s expired List B document number from Section 2 of the Form I-9 to create an E-Verify case as usual within three days of the date of hire.
DHS continues to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency and will provide updated guidance as needed.
USCIS released a revised M-274, Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9, with expanded information on properly completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Revisions include updates based on the recent Form I-9 release, as well as policy changes and clarifications.
On March 30, 2020, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum directing Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf to extend the deferred enforced departure (DED) wind-down period for eligible Liberians through Jan. 10, 2021. To facilitate uninterrupted employment authorization for those aliens in the United States currently covered under DED for Liberia who are eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident status under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness provision, DHS published a Federal Register notice extending employment authorization and automatically extending DED-related EADs with a printed expiration date of March 30, 2020, and bearing the code “A-11” through Jan. 10, 2021.
Find more details on the end of DED for Liberia on the Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure page and instructions for completing Form I-9 on I-9 Central.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, E-Verify and Form I-9 have created some temporary policies to help employers. Additionally, we have included some questions and answers employers may find helpful.
In an effort to prevent a lapse in employment authorizations for certain Liberians in the United States, on March 30, 2020, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum directing Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf to extend the deferred enforced departure (DED) wind-down period for eligible Liberians through Jan. 10, 2021. This extension will facilitate uninterrupted work authorization for those currently in the United States under DED who are eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident status under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness provision. Eligible Liberian nationals have until December 20, 2020, to file for permanent resident status under the law. Aliens who are eligible for permanent resident status should submit their completed Form I-485 and associated Form I-765 as early as possible. USCIS will publish a notice in the Federal Register with information on the extension of employment authorization and automatic extension of certain employment authorization documents (EADs) through Jan. 10, 2021, for those Liberians currently covered under DED.
For more information on the Liberia DED wind-down extension, employers should visit the https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/deferred-enforced-departure/ded-granted-country-liberia on the USCIS website. Employers should revisit E-Verify.gov for updates on this extension as they become available.
Starting May 1, you can only use edition Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, with the 10/21/2019 edition date.
A revised Spanish edition of Form I-9 with an edition date of 10/21/2019 is available for use in Puerto Rico only.
- Confirm their employment eligibility in a single case,
- Resolve a Tentative Nonconfirmation, TNC, (formerly known as a mismatch)
- Resolve a Dual TNC from DHS and SSA, and
- Track their case to completion and view the results once resolved.
Users who receive a TNC and choose to resolve now have eight (8) federal working days to take action. A system-generated Further Action Notice (FAN) and a Referral Date Confirmation letter will be issued to the user as proof their case has been referred to either DHS, SSA or both.
Customers should contact the appropriate agency in the Notice for additional support and resolution. Customers who choose not to take action within the eight (8) federal working days will receive a Final Nonconfirmation (FNC). If the user chooses to resolve the TNC after an FNC is issued, they may create a new Self Check case. If the user made a data entry error, they can now close the TNC case and create a new case. Users may only have one Self Check case open at a time.
While myE-Verify remains voluntary and does not replace the E-Verify process, the new features allow applicants, jobseekers and employees to address their potential TNC status before their next E-Verify employer does.
Due to current circumstances related to COVID-19, E-Verify has updated some policies that temporarily affect myE-Verify Self Check updates. Click on the E-Verify Extension to Resolve TNCs for more information.
E-Verify is extending the timeframe to take action to resolve Social Security Administration (SSA) Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) due to SSA office closures to the public. E-Verify is also extending the timeframe to take action to resolve Department of Homeland Security (DHS) TNCs in limited circumstances when an employee cannot resolve a TNC due to public or private office closures.
IMPORTANT: You must notify your employee about their TNC result as soon as possible. After your employee is notified of their TNC and decides whether to take action to resolve the TNC, the employee should acknowledge the decision on the Further Action Notice, and the employer should notify E-Verify of their employee’s decision. Employees who choose to take action to resolve a TNC are referred to SSA and/or DHS. Employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because the E-Verify case is in an interim case status, including while the employee’s case is in an extended interim case status.
New Temporary Policies
We have implemented the following policies to minimize the burden on both employers and employees:
- Employers are still required to create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire.
- Employers must use the hire date from the employee’s Form I-9 when creating the E-Verify case. If case creation is delayed due to COVID-19 precautions, select “Other” from the drop-down list and enter “COVID-19” as the specific reason.
- Employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because the E-Verify case is in an interim case status, including while the employee’s case is in an extended interim case status.
Customer Support and Account Access
E-Verify Contact Center representatives are still available. Employers will still be able to access their E-Verify accounts and:
- Enroll in E-Verify;
- Create E-Verify cases;
- Add, delete or edit any user account;
- Reset passwords;
- Edit company information;
- Terminate accounts; and
- Run reports or view any information about an account or case.
For information on Social Security Administration operating status please visit ssa.gov/coronavirus.
Please be sure to check back for updates. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf decided to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Somalia for 18 months, through Sept. 17, 2021. Current beneficiaries who want to maintain their status must re-register March 11, 2020 through May 11, 2020.
Given the time frames for processing TPS re-registration applications, USCIS has automatically extended the validity of certain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) issued under the TPS designation for Somalia through Sept. 13, 2020.
On April 19, 2018, King Mswati III officially renamed the Kingdom of Swaziland the Kingdom of Eswatini. Employees from Eswatini may present foreign passports and I-94s that have either “Swaziland” or “Eswatini” as their country of issuance. The newest version of Form I-9 (Rev. 10/21/2019) includes both country names in the dropdowns. An employee completing Section 1 who presents a foreign passport or I-94 that contains either Swaziland or Eswatini should select the correct county from the dropdown in the Country of Issuance field. However, when creating a case for these employees in E-Verify, E-Verify participants should select Eswatini from the provided dropdown.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf has decided to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Yemen for 18 months, through Sept. 3, 2021. Current beneficiaries who want to maintain their status must re-register from March 2, 2020 through May 1, 2020.
Given the time frames for processing TPS re-registration applications, USCIS has automatically extended the validity of certain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) issued under the TPS designation for Yemen through Aug. 30, 2020.
On Jan. 31, 2020, USCIS published the Form I-9 Federal Register notice announcing a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, that the Office of Management and Budget approved on Oct. 21, 2019. This new version contains minor changes to the form and its instructions. Employers should begin using this updated form as of Jan. 31, 2020.
The notice provides employers additional time to make necessary updates and adjust their business processes. Employers may continue using the prior version of the form (Rev. 07/17/2017 N) until April 30, 2020. After that date, they can only use the new form with the 10/21/2019 version date. The version date is located in the lower left corner of the form.
USCIS made the following changes to the form and its instructions:
Revised the Country of Issuance field in Section 1 and the Issuing Authority field (when selecting a foreign passport) in Section 2 to add Eswatini and Macedonia, North per those countries’ recent name changes. (Note: This change is only visible when completing the fillable Form I-9 on a computer.)
- Clarified who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer
- Updated USCIS website addresses
- Provided clarifications on acceptable documents for Form I-9
- Updated the process for requesting paper Forms I-9
- Updated the DHS Privacy Notice
A revised Spanish version of Form I-9 with a version date of 10/21/2019 is available for use in Puerto Rico only.