Immigration Update

Jul 12, 2021 | Immigration Updates

In this edition, read about the updated guidance for the I-9 process, an announcement on national interest exception extensions, Yemen’s redesignation for TPS, and more.

USCIS Announces Updated Receipt Guidance for I-9 Process

The I-9 form has been with us for almost 35 years, and USCIS still finds things to tweak.  The agency recently announced updated guidance on receipts for the I-9 employment authorization verification process:

  • When employees present a receipt showing that they applied to replace a List A, B, or C document that was lost, stolen, or damaged, they should show their employer the replacement document for which the receipt was given. However, USCIS acknowledged that this is not always possible due to document delays, changes in status, or other factors.
  • If the employee does not present the original document for which the previously provided receipt was issued but presents, within the 90-day period, another acceptable document (or documents) to demonstrate his or her identity and/or employment authorization, employers may now accept such documentation.

In cases where an employee presents a document (or documents) other than the actual replacement document, the employer should complete a new Section 2 and attach it to the original Form I-9, USCIS said. In addition, the employer should provide a note of explanation either in the Additional Information box included on page 2 of the Form I-9 or as a separate attachment.

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National Interest Exceptions Extended to One Year, Embassies Report

In what is widely felt to be good news, U.S. embassies in London and Berlin have reported that “all National Interest Exceptions (NIE) are now valid for 12 months and multiple entries as long as you are traveling for the same purpose for which you originally received [a National Interest Exception (NIE)].” According to the U.S. embassy in Berlin, this new policy was effective July 5, 2021. 

Presidential Proclamation 10143 allows the entry of any noncitizen whose entry would be in the national interest. Previously, all NIEs were only valid for 30 days and only approved for a single entry into the United States. Those already issued NIEs now may enter the country multiple times, provided they are traveling for the same pre-approved purpose stated in their original NIE.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that the above guidance does not apply to CBP requests and NIEs previously issued by CBP.

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USCIS Extends and Redesignates Yemen for TPS, Suspends Certain Requirements for Yemeni F-1 Students

On July 9, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the extension and redesignation of Yemen for temporary protected status (TPS). On the same date, DHS announced the suspension of certain regulatory requirements for Yemeni F-1 nonimmigrant students who are experiencing severe economic hardship because of the current crisis in Yemen.

TPS extended and redesignated. TPS for Yemen is extended and redesignated for 18 months, from September 4, 2021, through March 3, 2023. The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 3, 2023, so long as they otherwise continue to meet the eligibility requirements for TPS. The redesignation allows additional individuals who have been continuously residing in the United States since July 5, 2021, to obtain TPS, if otherwise eligible.

Requirements suspended for Yemeni students.Effective September 4, 2021, through March 3, 2023, Yemeni citizens (regardless of country of birth) who are lawful F-1 nonimmigrant students can request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course loads while continuing to maintain F-1 status. DHS said it will deem an F-1 nonimmigrant student who receives employment authorization “by means of this notice to be engaged in a ‘full course of study’ for the duration of the employment authorization, if the nonimmigrant student satisfies the minimum course load requirement described in this notice.”

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