Categories Compliance Immigration and Customs Enforcement News & Updates

U.S Will Rescind SEVP Rule Restricting Online Curriculum for Foreign Students

On July 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as part of a resolution reached pursuant to a lawsuit, agreed to rescind the July 2020?Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) policy change. As we?previously reported, the SEVP policy change would have required?foreign students in F-1 or M-1 status in the U.S. to take at least some in-person coursework in the fall 2020 semester. According to the resolution, the federal government will rescind the July 6, 2020 SEVP Policy Directive and the July 7, 2020 SEVP FAQ (as well as the implementation of the same).

 

Based on this update, the prior COVID-19-related SEVP guidance issued in March 2020 continues in effect, which will allow F-1 and M-1 students taking only online courses in the fall 2020 semester to continue to lawfully reside in the United States.

 

Please contact your Graham Adair attorney with any questions.

Categories Compliance Immigration and Customs Enforcement News & Updates

ICE Flexibility on I-9 Rules Extended for Another 30 Days

On March 20, as we?previously reported, DHS announced that it would allow inspection of I-9 Section 2 documents remotely via video link, fax, or email due to physical proximity precautions related to COVID-19.? The?original announcement was valid for 60 days only, but was extended for 30 days until June 18.? Due to continued precautions related to COVID-19, DHS has further extended this flexibility for another 30 days until July 19.

If you have any questions, contact your Graham Adair representative.

Categories Compliance News & Updates

DHS Extends Flexibility in I-9 Verifications for 30 days

On March 20th, DHS deferred the physical examination requirement of work authorization documents for Form I-9.? This allowed employers to inspect Section 2 documents via video link, fax, or email, as long as specific notation is entered in the ?Additional Information? field on Section 2.? You can find our news alert on the initial guidance here.

This flexibility was scheduled to end on May 19th. However, due to continued precautions related to COVID-19, DHS extended this flexibility for another 30 days or until June 18th.

If you have any questions on how to complete the Form I-9 during these times, please contact your Graham Adair representative.

Categories Compliance News & Updates

Flexibility in I-9 Verifications during COVID-19 Shutdown

The Department of Homeland Security announced that it will defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).? As employers and employees observe social distancing precautions, employers can now inspect Section 2 documents remotely via video link, fax or email, etc.? However, please note the following important steps:

 

  • Employers must view Section 2 documents, even if remotely, within 3 business days of the start of employment;
  • Documents submitted via email/fax/etc. must be retained;
  • Once physical examination is conducted:
    • Employers should enter “COVID-19” in the “Additional Information” box on Section 2;
    • Employers should add “Documents physical examined [INSERT DATE]” in the “Additional Information” field on Section 2.
    • The explanation for the delay should also be added on a memo attached to the employee’s I-9 file.
    • Once normal operations resume, employees must present the original documents used during remote verification within 3 business days.? Employers should add the date in which in-person verification took place in the “Additional Information” field on Section 2.

 

Employers may implement the above provisions for a period of 60 days from March 20, 2020 OR within 3 business days after the termination of the National Emergency, whichever comes first.

 

The above rules only apply to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely.? If employees are physically present at a work location, normal I-9 verification rules apply.

If you have any questions regarding I-9 compliance, please contact your Graham Adair representative.

Categories Compliance News & Updates USCIS

USCIS To Accept Reproduced Signatures During COVID-19 National Emergency

For petitions filed on March 21, 2020 and beyond, USCIS will begin accepting reproduced original signatures on forms and documents, including Form I-129. A document may be scanned, faxed, photocopied, or similarly reproduced provided that the copy is of an original document containing an original handwritten signature. USCIS will not accept signatures created by a typewriter, word processor, stamp, auto-pen, or similar device. The signatory must have authority to sign on behalf of the petitioning entity.

 

Petitioners or applicants who submit an electronically reproduced original signature must keep copies of the original documents containing the “wet” signature. At their discretion, USCIS may request the original documents at any time. Failure to produce the original document can negatively impact the application.

 

If you have any questions, please contact your Graham Adair representative.