Don’t Miss Our Seminar on How to Complete the New I-9 Form and E-Verify

April 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

I9-Seminar-2013-HRCIEmployers and human resource professionals, do you have questions about how to complete the new 2013 I-9 Form? Don’t miss our training seminar, “The Brand New I-9 Form: How to Complete it & E- Verify for 2013” on Thursday May 16 at the Delta Dental Auditorium in Concord, NH.

We urge you to register early as this event always sells out quickly.

With a revised format and e-verification stipulations, it’s essential you understand how to properly complete the new I-9 which will be required for all new hires starting on May 7, 2013. We’ll cover everything you need to know about the new I-9 Form and how to complete it properly. We will also review E-verify.  The workshop will offer extensive I-9 compliance training, with topics including:

  • Lists of Acceptable Documents
  • Receipt Rules Samples
  • Establishing Office Procedures to Ensure Compliance
  • Issue Spotting, Retention Requirements and Social Security
  • No-Match Letters and E-Verify Requirements
  • Federal Contractor and I-9 Compliance Resource Guide

In addition to intensive I-9 training, attendees will receive three hours of HRCI credit, the updated version of the GoffWilson proprietary I-9 manual, and breakfast. Space is limited and this event sells out fast, so register today to reserve your seats!

DACA Recipients to Soon Receive Permission to Travel Outside U.S.

December 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

DACA-Travel-Permission120412

Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals will soon be able to travel outside of – and return to – the United States under limited circumstances. These changes are part of the regulations issued in June 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security.

Travel under these regulations for a DACA-approved person will be available once the need for such travel has been established to the satisfaction of USCIS. Following approval, the individual traveler will be issued an Advance Parole document that they will need to present at the time of departure and on return to the U.S. « Read the rest of this entry »

Form I-9 and E-Verify Seminar, May 10: Register Now!

April 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

On May 10, 2012, Attorneys John Wilson and Grace Miller will be giving a presentation on Form I-9 and E-Verify at the Delta Dental Auditorium in Concord, New Hampshire. Registration is now open!

This workshop will provide an in-depth look at each section of the I-9 Form and the Lists of Acceptable Documents. Your questions about E- Verify will also be answered, as we will explain the program, how it relates to the I-9 Form and the obligations created by enrolling and participating in E-Verify.

Each participant will receive GoffWilson’s up-to-date reference workbook that has been tailored to contain a practical guide to completing the Form I-9, examples of correctly completed I-9 forms using the most recent documents issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Service, frequently asked questions and issue spotting examples.

The presentation will be from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and a yummy breakfast will be provided. GoffWilson is pleased to offer participants three recertification credit hours through the HR Certification Institute for PHP, SPHR and GPHR.

For more information and to register for the event, please click here.

Do You Check Out? USCIS Self Check Program Now Available

February 15, 2012 § 2 Comments

Self Check Employment Records Program

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently made an announcement that the Self Check Program is now available throughout the United States, Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

The Self Check Program is an online service for employees to check their own employment eligibility status through the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. « Read the rest of this entry »

Why U.S. Employers Should Consider Hiring Foreign Students

February 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Sometimes it is simply in the best interests of an employer to hire a foreign student and employers should not pass on this opportunity, especially when recruiting in the areas of science, technology and engineering.

Many of the brightest students from around the world come to the U.S. to study at our colleges and universities. Following graduation they often seek employment here in America.

An individual here on an F-1 student visa who has received a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in science, technology, engineering or math (known as STEM, collectively) may apply for a one time 17-month extension of his or her Optional Practical Training (OPT) to allow authorization to work for a U.S. employer as long as the employer is enrolled in E-Verify prior to the expiration of the employee’s status.

If you employ a student, be sure that your I-9 Form is properly updated. But what steps need to be taken prior to the expiration of a student’s initial OPT card?

  1. To document the extension, the student will need to present the Form I-20 endorsed by the designated school official recommending STEM extension.
  2. Upon reviewing the Form I-20, you should write “180-day Ext.” in the margin of Section 2.
  3. If it is your policy to make a photocopy of the supporting documents used to complete the Form I-9, a copy of the I-20 form should be made and retained with the Form I-9.
  4. Last, you are required to re-verify employment authorization no later than 180 days from the expiration date of the previous EAD.
  5. Employers should mark a tickler system to ensure the I-9 Form is updated prior to this date.

The employer should not submit an E-Verify inquiry for any employee hired before the company signed the E-Verify Memorandum of Understanding, unless the employer is subject to a contract containing the E-Verify mandate under the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).

If you are considering hiring a recent foreign graduate, give us a call. We can explain all the employment options available to you. We are immigration attorneys. It’s all we do!

The Many Benefits of Foreign Investment in U.S. Businesses

January 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Foreign investment in a U.S. business is a win-win.

Under the EB-5 visa program, U.S. immigration law allows foreign investors to speed up their green card process when they invest money in the U.S. economy and employ Americans. It’s a sound investment for foreigners and a needed injection of jobs and money for struggling local economies.

Under the EB-5 visa program, the foreign investor is able to accelerate the green card process when he or she invests $1 million in a U.S. business. If the investment is made in an area considered a “targeted employment area” (defined as a rural area or one with unemployment at or above 150% of the national average),  the investor only needs to invest a minimum of $500,000. In addition, the foreign investor must agree to employ at least 10 full time workers.

The EB-5 (investment visa) is currently a hot trend at Department of Homeland Security. There are 10,000 visas available in this category annually, but typically less than 1,500 are utilized.  Although the investor program has been active since November 1990, it has become very popular lately as U.S. businesses and local communities struggle with high unemployment and difficult credit. Foreigners view the U.S. as a blue chip investment, and communities affected by the recession welcome the influx of money and jobs.

The United States as a whole also benefits from the EB-5 visa program. Investors like these are the type of people we need coming in to the U.S.: highly motivated, well educated, business savvy, financially secure individuals who want to run a business and provide full time employment for  U.S. workers.  In return, the foreigner and his/her immediate family receives permanent residency (green card status) after a conditional period of two years. It is a program that truly benefits everyone involved.

Like all Department of Homeland Security programs, the EB-5 program is complex, with many regulations to consider. If you or someone you know would like more information about this program and how to apply, give us a call. It’s what we do and we are happy to help! Thoughts on EB-5? Feel free to comment below.

GoffWilson’s National Webinar Earns An “A” Grade

December 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

GoffWilson Webinars

Over the years, GoffWilson has become known for the educational seminars and webinars we offer. It’s always nice when we hear feedback on these events as they let us know how we can improve and if people value the experience.

On November 10, Attorney John Wilson and Associate Attorney Grace Miller conducted a SHRM national webcast on I-9 audits. The presentation was an in-depth discussion of the intricacies of I-9s and pitfalls to avoid.

There were more 300 participants from around the country on this immigration law webinar–not surprising considering this hot issue and the fact that webinar attendees earned HRCI credit.

Following the 90-minute presentation, the participants completed a survey to rate the broadcast. According to the folks at SHRM who tallied the results, the combined excellent/very good score on presenter puts GoffWilson in the top 5% of all presenters for SHRM. That’s great news for us!

No one rated us as “fair” or worse. Ratings regarding content were also very high with 88% of the participants reporting excellent or very good content. Again, this is in the top 10% of all SHRM broadcasts.

Over 90% of the listeners stated they would recommend this program to others needing information on the topic. Based on these terrific results, we plan to offer another program(s) in 2012. Our I-9 training seminars (live) or via webcast are especially popular in this climate of heightened scrutiny of US Employers. Make sure you are prepared. Let us know if we can help. Interested in specific topics? Feel free to comment below or email us today.

NH Public Radio Explores the Plight of H-1B Visa Workers

November 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

H-1B visa news from GoffWilson, an immigration law firm in NH

New Hampshire Public Radio aired an interesting report this morning on the need for immigrant workers in the state on H-1B visas. (Also scheduled for this afternoon at 5 p.m., the story includes input from our own John Wilson, Esq.)

The report, from NHPR reporter Sam Evans-Brown, explores the need for immigrants to provide skilled work in a NH economy that badly needs their services. He interviews a human resources director for one Nashua company that has more than 70 people on H-1B. Hear Evans-Brown’s report here.

About half of the company is filled by skilled foreign workers who come on temporary H-1B visas, Evans-Brown reports, even though the company pays recruiters to look for American candidates. It’s worth a listen for anyone who is connected with the H-1B visa world. If you have questions about H-1B visas, feel free to contact GoffWilson. Immigration law is what we do.

Form I-9 Turns 25 (And It’s As Important As Ever)

November 8, 2011 § 2 Comments

I-9 Form Turns 25

Last week, Ivan Hardt, president of Sun Drywall and Stucco in Sierra Vista, AZ,  pleaded guilty to federal charges of hiring undocumented employees after a 16-month investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Sunday, November 6, 2011, marks 25 years that the I-9 Form  has been in effect. The Sun Drywall & Stucco case reminds us not to ignore the simple fact that it is imperative to verify that I-9 forms are in compliance with the law, regulations, administrative decisions, and federal court opinions that have been issued over the last 25 years.

As part of his plea, the company president agreed to pay $225,000 in back wages and an additional administrative forfeiture of $225,000 to ICE. The company, through its president, also pleaded guilty to unlawful employment of undocumented workers.

Hardt’s sentence underscores the importance of I-9 compliance and the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing concerted effort to target employers who hire undocumented workers and to shift the burden of policing undocumented workers onto U.S. employers.

In Janet Napolitano’s testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary on October 26, 2011, she reconfirmed that DHS will continue “utilizing robust Form I-9 inspections, civil fines and debarment, and enhancing compliance tools like E-Verify” as part of its interior enforcement strategy.

Under the Obama administration, ICE has conducted more I-9 audits than any previous administration. Since FY2009, ICE has audited more than 6,000 employers across the country and imposed more than $76 million in financial sanctions on those employers. In FY2011, ICE arrested 221 employers accused of immigration and employment related violations, which is an agency record.

Every employer must fill out the I-9 form for all employees. If you need an I-9 compliance program, an I-9 audit or an just update on how to complete I-9s, call us, it’s what we do! You can also contact us online at http://www.goffwilson.com.

Is there a topic you would like to see covered in an upcoming post on the GoffWilson bLAWg? Submit your idea here, or let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Workshop Tackles the Nuts and Bolts of Form I-9

October 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

I-9 Workshop

On October 13, attorneys John Wilson and Grace Miller gave a lively presentation on Form I-9 and E-Verify to members of the River Valley Human Resources Association in Claremont, NH. We would like to thank all the participants for asking many great, engaging questions, and of course extend a big thank you to Claremont Savings Bank for hosting us in their conference room.

In addition to providing an in-depth look at each section of the I-9 Form and the Lists of Acceptable Documents, attorneys Wilson and Miller explained E-Verify, how it relates to the I-9 Form, and what obligations are created when employers enroll in the program. Participants left the workshop with a better understanding of the I-9 form and why it’s frequently called the most complicated one page form ever created!

Each participant received GoffWilson’s coveted I-9 Form Reference Workbook, which past participants have said they use every time a new person is hired. GoffWilson attorneys have carefully tailored this workbook to be a practical, step-by-step guide to completing the I-9 Form. The workbook also provides examples of correctly completed I-9 Forms, frequently asked questions, and examples that can help you spot I-9 errors  before they become a legal headache.

We would like to extend a special thank you to the participants who asked us to stay longer to review additional examples and ask questions.  If you were unable to attend this workshop and you are interested in Form I-9 related training, please stay tuned to GoffWilson’s I-9 Blawg.  Additional presentations will be offered soon. They will be announced on our Blawg and our social media accounts, so be sure to bookmark us and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. If you are interested in hosting a workshop for your organization, please visit the I-9 training and seminars page on our website.

Thank you again to all of the participants for a great workshop!

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