USCIS hears suggestions and feedback on I-9 Central
by John Fay
On Tuesday, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Verification Division held a listening session to gather feedback on the usability and functionality of the I-9 Central web portal, which is designed to be a one-stop resource for employers and workers seeking the latest guidance on how to complete the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification form. As usual, there were several immigration attorneys in attendance, representing their clients (companies, universities, non-profits, etc.) who have been feeling the pressure to get their I-9 house(s) in order. The meeting consisted primarily of questions/comments from the attendees regarding the usability of the I-9 Central resource and whether it could/should be approved. In case you missed today’s session, you can view the agenda items here as well as very quick USCIS PowerPoint with some I-9 Central screenshots here.
In addition, I’ve summarized the major points discussed (including the highlights from USCIS) below for your further reading enjoyment.
USCIS listens to prior feedback
In November of last year, the USCIS held an I-9 listening session, which gave various stakeholders the opportunity to voice their concerns and wish lists in relation to the Form I-9 in general (including each section of the form, the list of acceptable documents, the I-9 verification process as a whole, and educational resources). Based upon that meeting, the agency has made a concerted effort to make the I-9 instructions and other materials clearer – from both the employer and employee perspective. In particular, USCIS has implemented the following in direct relation to those comments:
I-9 Central Home Page and “What’s New”
As previously discussed, I-9 Central utilizes the familiar USCIS green-and-white website to deliver all of the I-9 Central content under the USCIS.gov domain. The home page is simple and functional, providing 8 general areas of I-9 topics with attractive icons and graphics. One of the more useful additions to the site is the “What’s New” page where USCIS will publish quick updates regarding I-9 related news. This is particularly helpful, considering there are MANY pages in I-9 central, and sometimes you just need to know the latest developments. [Shameless plug: you can also subscribe to this blog for up-to-the-minute news and tips.]
USCIS has also recently added a special “Employee Rights & Discrimination” section which outlines prohibited employer practices, provides recommendations to prevent discrimination, and gives employees instructions on how to file a claim with the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, interested parties can sign up for updates to I-9 Central by email (or RSS feed) and anytime there is an update, an alert will go out to you.
Is there any Essential Information Missing from I-9 Central?
While most attendees seemed happy with I-9 Central’s overall look and navigation, several attorneys in attendance remarked about missing or inconsistent information (when compared to the M-274 and other essential resources). Here are a few of the comments and questions expressed:
If you’re an employer with a craving for more I-9 information, make sure to sign up for the I-9 Central emails to receive the latest updates to the site. In addition, USCIS will most likely post the official minutes from this session on their Outreach page here.
Originally published by LawLogix Group Inc. Reprinted by permission. http://www.electronici9.com/i-9/government-speakers-present-on-i-9-and-e-verify-issues/
John Fay is an experienced corporate immigration attorney and I-9/E-Verify blogger with a unique background in designing and advising on case management technology. While practicing immigration in New York City, John designed and managed his firm’s proprietary web-based immigration management system, which featured a fully multilingual interface for international organizations. In his current role, John serves as Vice President of Products and Services and General Counsel at LawLogix, where he is responsible for overseeing product design and functionality while ensuring compliance with rapidly changing immigration rules.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.