ABIL Urges Cautious Implementation of New Proposed ‘Smart I-9’ Form

March 17, 2016

By Immigration Group

This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.

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.

ABIL’s comments are at http://www.abil.com/articles/ABIL%20Comment%20-%20I-9%20Form%20(01.25.16).pdf. More information on ABIL is at http://www.abil.com.