New Form I-9. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a new Form I-9. USCIS has clarified that employers must start using the new Form I-9 as of May 7, 2013 for new hires. Earlier announcements suggested that employers had until May 8 to use the new form.
H-1Bs are gone. Filing season for new H-1Bs began on April 1 and by April 5, USCIS had received more than enough petitions to exceed the annual quota. USCIS is using a random lottery to select those H-1B petitions which will be processed. Foreign nationals who already have H-1B status are not subject to the annual cap.
Temporary Protected Status Extended for Certain Hondurans and Nicaraguans. USCIS is extending the TPS program for certain nationals from Honduras and Nicaragua for another eighteen months, until January 5, 2015. USCIS is automatically extending current TPS Honduras and Nicaragua EADs that have a July 5, 2013, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through January 5, 2014. An extension for qualifying El Salvadorans will likely be announced soon.
Electronic I-94 Cards. Customs and Border Patrol has announced that it will no longer use paper Form I-94 card arrival/departure records. I-94 cards are the white cards issued to visitors to the U.S., including nonimmigrants in H-1B, L-1, TN, O, P, and E status. The I-94 card, in combination with an unexpired foreign passport, may serve as a List A document to establish identity and work authorization for Form I-9 purposes. The I-94 card also serves as proof that the nonimmigrant is lawfully present in the United States. Travelers will be provided with the web address where they can print an I-94 card – www.cbp.gov/I94. (The website will not be active until the end of April.) Foreign workers holding a nonimmigrant visa authorizing them to work should make sure to print their I-94 card from the CBP website.