Ivener & Fullmer LLP

ABIL Urges Cautious Implementation of New Proposed “Smart I-9” Form


The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) has submitted comments on the new proposed revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Among other things, ABIL members urged U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to delay implementing the “smart I-9” until it is fully functional in both English and Spanish. In its current state, they noted, the proposed “smart I-9” adds many more opportunities for employers to make mistakes. “It does not appear that USCIS has fully beta-tested the proposed fillable form,” ABIL members noted. They said they tested the form and found a number of areas where the information and guidance provided was unclear or inconsistent with other guidance.

ABIL members also noted that various changes, such as a proposed rule making changes to use of the employment authorization document for I-9 purposes, are in the works and that implementing a new form while these significant developments are in flux will add “significant confusion for employers.” ABIL members suggested a “grace period” of at least 120 days after the form is published until employers are required to use it to allow adequate time for appropriate guidance and training. They suggested that USCIS provide the fillable form as a training tool until full implementation can occur successfully.

ABIL comprises 20 of the top U.S. business immigration law firms, each led by a prominent member of the U.S. immigration bar. ABIL member firms employ over 250 attorneys devoted to business immigration in 25 major U.S. cities and 25 major international cities.

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Ivener & Fullmer LLP, a nationally recognized law firm, has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in immigration matters.

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