BAL has submitted a public comment in support of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) efforts to streamline the Form I-9 and reduce burdens on employers and employees. The comment came in response to an agency proposal to revise the Form I-9 in an effort to simplify the verification of employment eligibility.

BAL urged USCIS to:

  • Implement its proposal to simplify the Form I-9 and provide more clarity to employers and employees.
  • Update its Lists of Acceptable Documents to include electronic documents.
  • Modernize the Form I-9 process by transitioning to an electronic environment.

The full comment is available here.

Background: USCIS published its proposal for the revised Form I-9 on March 29, opening a public comment period that closed May 31. The proposed changes to the form include:

  • Condensing Sections 1 and 2 on a one-page “Main Form.”
  • Designating Section 3 the “Reverification and Rehire Supplement to the Form I-9.”
  • Adding information about the M-274 handbook and acceptable receipts to the “Lists of Acceptable Documents.”
  • Shortening the form instructions from 15 pages to seven.

USCIS received more than 180 comments on the proposal. The agency will now review the comments before finalizing the revised form and may make further changes in response to comments. The current Form I-9 is scheduled to expire on Oct. 31, and USCIS will announce the date on which employers will be required to begin using the new form.

In its comment, BAL also expressed support for guidance that temporarily allows certain employers operating remotely due to COVID-19 to conduct verification of employee documents virtually, e.g., by using fax, email or video link. The measures are currently in place through Oct. 31. BAL has urged USCIS to make remote verification available permanently.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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