U.S. Embassy in Moscow Announces Significant Reduction of Consular Services

U.S. Embassy Moscow recently announced plans to reduce its consular workforce by 75 percent and significantly reduce its consular services. The announcement comes in response to the Russian government’s move to ban the U.S. Embassy “from employing foreign nationals in any capacity,” actions taken in retaliation to new U.S. sanctions imposed over Russia’s alleged interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, and the country’s involvement in the computer hack of top U.S. government agencies.

USCIS Announces Deadline to Download E-Verify Data

Pursuant to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) records retention and disposal schedule (N 1-55-08-7), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) annually purges E-Verify data that is more than 10 years old. According to USCIS, as of May 14, 2021, employers will no longer have access to E-Verify records that were created on or before December 31, 2010.

New California Form Helps Employers Comply With Immigrant Worker Protection Act

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has released a template notice form to help employers comply with the posting requirements under California Labor Code section 90.2(a)(1), also known as the Immigrant Worker Protection Act or AB 450, which requires employers in California to notify their workforces within 72 hours of any immigration law compliance inspection or audit initiated by federal agencies.

New “Smart” I-9 Form Becomes Mandatory on January 22, 2017

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that starting January 22, 2017, all employers in the United States will be required to use the new version of the Form I-9 exclusively to conduct employment eligibility verification. The latest revisions to the Form I-9 were approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on August 25, 2016. The approved I-9 revisions include both “smart” features and content-based changes. The smart features will allow users to access and fill out a smart Form I-9 on USCIS’s website. The content-based revisions to the Form I-9 add new fields and update the language found in other fields.

How to Respond When ACA Electronic Reporting Triggers Notification of an Incorrect TIN

The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) electronic reporting requirements for larger companies may inadvertently notify employers of employees using incorrect Social Security numbers. The ACA requires certain large employers with 50 or more employees to offer qualified healthcare plans to employees or risk paying fines. Employers can report employee insurance coverage with Form 1095-C. In the 2015 tax year, it became mandatory for employers that submit 250 or more Forms 1095-C to do so electronically. The electronic reporting system also automatically checks the employee’s name and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), which is almost always his or her Social Security number, against government databases, flagging any mismatches. A mismatch will then generate a notification for the employer. Employers should prepare for mismatch notifications and take care not to run afoul of discrimination laws.

Update on STEM OPT Work Permit Extension: Administrative Process for Regulation Is Underway

In response to Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle’s ruling in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 14-529 (August 12, 2015) that vacated the previous regulations on STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) work permit extension, on October 2, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) submitted proposed new STEM OPT regulations to be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).   Judge Huvelle’s ruling imposed a February 12, 2016 deadline for the promulgation of a new rule in order to continue the STEM OPT program for F-1 students. This action marks the first step in the process to obtain the new final rule.

New Requirements for Companies Hiring Foreign Workers Under Canada’s International Mobility Program

On February 11, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) issued amended regulations meant to enhance accountability for employers that hire foreign workers under the International Mobility Program (IMP), that is, those hiring foreign nationals who are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. The amended regulations are in…..

Revised Form I-9 Effective March 8, 2013

A revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, the form that must be completed by all employers to verify the employment eligibility of every new hire, was introduced on March 8, 2013 and became effective as of that date. The modifications include the expansion of the Form I-9 from one to two pages (not including the “List of Acceptable Documents” and form instructions), additional data fields (such as the new hire’s email address and phone number), enhanced Form I-9 instructions, and a revised layout.