Wed. Oct 27th, 2021

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USCIS Broadens Its Policy on Use of Receipts in the Employment Eligibility Verification Process

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Employment Eligibility Verification Process: USCIS recently explained its policy that, if an employee presents a receipt for a lost, stolen, or damaged document to complete Form I-9 verification, the employee should return in 90 days to introduce either the replacement document for which the receipt was given or another acceptable document or documents, to complete Section 2 of the Form I-9. If the employee presents an alternate document or document than the one for which the receipt was given. The employer should finish a new Section 2 of Form I-9 and append it to the previously completed form.

Employers are required by law to verify their identity and work authorization of recently recruited employees and validate the verification in Section 2 of Form I-9. Also, employers should reverify renewed work authorization of current employees. In Section 3 of Form I-9 in situations where the recently approved authorization has lapsed. Form I-9 verification requires the employee to introduce original documents.

Employment Eligibility Verification Process

However, under the longstanding “receipt rule,” an employee may introduce a receipt. For a lost, stolen, or damaged document and return it with the original replacement document within 90 days. Relevant regulation and agency guidance did not address the situation. Where an employee presents acceptable document(s) for Form I-9 verification that is different from the document for which the receipt was given.

In guidance published on 7th July 2021, USCIS explains that the employee may introduce, within 90 days of the initial verification with the receipt. The document for which the receipt was given or another acceptable I-9 document or documents. Also, as per the new guidance, if a new employee presents an alternate document or document than the one for which the receipt was given.

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Then the employer should finish another Section 2 of Form I-9 and append it to the previously completed form. The new policy should also apply to receipts offered for Section 3 during the re-verification process. However, USCIS’s new guidance doesn’t straightforwardly address that section.

The new guidance is being set up in acknowledgment of the long delays. That numerous employees face getting replacements for lost, stolen, or damaged identity and employment authorization documents. It also introduces some welcome flexibility concerning the receipt rule. Yet employers should ensure that those responsible for I-9 compliance are aware of this new guidance.

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