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E-Verify Releases Draft Version of ICA v31

E-Verify recently released the draft version of Interface Control Agreement (ICA) Version 31 for E-Verify web service developers.  The reason for the release is to give web service providers an opportunity to learn and understand the ICA to allow them to begin making updates to their applications in accordance with the updates detailed therein. 

The new features in the draft version of ICA v 31 include Duplicate Case process updates, Scan and Upload process updates and an update to the Tentative Non-Confirmation process, all of which are detailed below:

Duplicate Case Process: 

  • Expand the current duplicate case lookback period from 30 federal government workdays to 365 calendar days.  
  • Restrict users from creating new cases if an open duplicate case for the same employee already exists. 
  • Remove the restriction of the number of duplicate cases that can be displayed at one time.

Scan and Upload Process: 

  • Allow users to close a case from the SCAN_AND_UPLOAD page in the case creation process.  

Tentative Nonconfirmation Process: 

  • Require users to download the Further Action Notice before completing the action to refer a case. 

GryphonHR will be incorporating these changes and updates into our process upon release by E-Verify. 

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DHS Extends Form I-9 Requirements

On May 27th the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USCIS) announced the extension of the flexibility in complying with the requirements as they relate to the Form I-9 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The initial date was set to expire on May 31st, but is now extended through August 31, 2021. 

The flexibility stems from the precautions employers are taking as they relate to the physical proximity recommendations set forth by the CDC.  As of April 1, 2021, the requirement that employers inspect employees’ Form I-9 identity and employment eligibility documentation in-person applies only to those employees who physically report to work at a company location on any regular and consistent basis. Employers with employees taking these precautions will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence.  Instead, employers must inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email, etc.) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2. Employers also should enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 Additional Information field. 

Once normal business operations resume, any employees who were onboarded using the remote verification process must report to their employer within three business days for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9.  Once the documents have been physically inspected, the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of the inspection to the Section 2 additional information field on the Form I-9.

This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. If there are employees physically present at a work location, no exceptions are being implemented at this time for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Additional information can be found at https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/dhs-announces-flexibility-requirements-related-form-i-9-compliance

Legal Partnership

GryphonHR and myHRcounsel Announce Partnership

Clarkston, MI, April, 2021 –(PR.com)– myHRcounsel™ is pleased to announce a new partnership with GryphonHR. This partnership will provide GryphonHR clients legal advice for all Form I-9 related issues.  In addition, myHRcounsel clients will be able to combine GryphonHR’s solutions with legally backed support from the attorneys at myHRcounsel.

Through this new partnership with GryphonHR, myHRcounsel will provide on-demand access to attorneys, for clients of GryphonHR via myHRcounsel’s Ask an Attorney Portal, for the myriad of legal issues or questions a client may have during the onboarding stage.  While the Form I-9 may seem simple on the surface, the fact is there are many areas where employers make mistakes which can prove to be costly.  myHRcounsel’s attorneys advise GryphonHR clients on all facets of I-9 compliance with upgrade opportunities to one of myHRcounsel’s complete suites of HR and employment law guidance.

“myHRcounsel’s next evolution approach to legal advice via digital delivery, conveniently built right into GryphonHR’s premier I-9 system, changes the game and industry, allowing our joint clients to efficiently and effectively (with legal backing) prepare I-9’s.  No other system has this feature, with actual attorney’s built into the system, and as we see each year, the legal issues with I-9’s become more and more difficult, leading companies to more and more legal exposure – until now!” said myHRcounsel CEO Mark Young. “We couldn’t be more exciting to be working with GryphonHR.”

“Since its inception, GryphonHR’s vision has been to provide its clients with an employment eligibility compliance solution that can be used around the globe. Our partnership with myHRcounsel’s on-demand legal services enables us to deliver a solution that will provide our client’s confidence that they are meeting those eligibility requirements and enables them to seek legal assistance when they do have questions.” remarked Marc Villella, CEO of GryphonHR. “The integration of these services into our Form I-9, and channel partner platforms, truly enables us to deliver a holistic, compliant onboarding solution to our clients and channel partners.”

About GryphonHR

GryphonHR is a robust, Human Resources employment compliance platform designed to simplify and streamline the compliance lifecycle allowing HR staff to focus on more employee-centric tasks and duties. With GryphonHR, organizations can manage their employee HR compliance tasks, globally, from a single platform. To learn more about GryphonHR visit: www.gryphonhr.com

About myHRcounsel™

myHRcounsel™, with its employment, corporate and ERISA legal solutions, provides clients with on-demand legal and compliance services through a call-center, web and mobile application staffed with 35+ attorneys capable of advising on all Federal and 50 State employment and corporate laws. Their history of providing services in this format has afforded their clients to receive instant answers on everyday HR compliance questions, expedited contract reviews and a complete array on employment and business law documents and agreements at a greatly reduced fee. To learn more visit: www.myHRcounsel.com

Remote Question

Remote I-9 vs Standard I-9:
Is there a difference?

Through the evolution of electronic Form I-9 providers, the terms “Remote I-9” and “Standard I-9” refer to different methods of completing section 2 of the Federal Government’s Form I-9 – the employment eligibility form that all employers must complete for each new employee they hire.


Standard I-9 refers to the traditional method of completion, where the employee completes section 1 electronically, and the employer, typically a HR user or the employee’s manager, completes section 2 within the electronic Form I-9 system.

The term Remote I-9 was coined to refer to having an outside individual that the employer trusted, who was NOT a regular user of the electronic Form I-9 System, gain access to the system to complete section 2 of the Form I-9. The Form I-9 requires employees to complete section 1 by their first day of work for pay and requires employers to complete section 2 by the employee’s third day of work for pay.  Developing this “Remote I-9” capability was important for employers whose workforce was evolving to include telecommuters who were not going into the office and would not, otherwise, need to go into the office to complete onboarding paperwork. Without the Remote I-9 functionality, completing the Form I-9 was difficult, cumbersome, and very inconvenient for these remote employees, and the employers who employed them.


So, is there really a difference between Remote I-9 and Standard I-9s?


The difference between the two boils down to this: Do you, as an employer, need (or want) an outside individual to complete section 2 of the Form I-9  to meet the compliance requirement of getting the form completed by the employee’s third day of work?


For many employers, this became a “need” because of the pandemic, as many governments forced lock downs and restricted workplaces to only essential workers coming into the place of business. As many of these restrictions begin to ease, employers are re-evaluating their policies and looking to allow more remote workers long term. As these policies shift, and IT systems evolve to support these shifts, remote I-9s become an important feature and capability of every employer’s onboarding process.


Learn more about GryphonHR’s remote I-9 capabilities, and all of the different “outside, trusted individual” options available including employee-chosen, employer-chosen, and a nationwide network of third-party trusted notaries.

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E-Verify Announces Product Roadmap

During a recent webinar, E-Verify provided details on their upcoming product roadmap for 2021-2022. As part of our commitment to keeping you updated with the latest and most relevant information, we wanted to share these details with you.  Though no timeline was provided, the below enhancements (listed in no particular order) are projected to be released over the next 18 months and of course, are subject to change.  

  • Improve the Duplicate Case Check
    • Expand the list of data identifiers used to determine and identify a duplicate case.
    • Expand the “look-back” period from 30 government workdays to 180 government workdays.
    • Increase the number of cases a duplicate case check search can display at one time.
    • Prevent a new case from being created if an open case for an employee already exists. 
  • Allow Users to close a case from the Scan and Upload Process
  • Automatically close “Draft” cases older than 180 government workdays.
  • Allow a User to edit an Unreferred TNC including removing the ability to close case as incorrect during this process.
  • Automate the Final Nonconfirmation Review process/Employment Status Update letter.
  • E-Verify is planning on ending support for SOAP integration in a future release.
    • Industry is moving towards REST (Representational State Transfer) API.
    • Widespread agreement and documentation on how to provide and consume REST API.

At GryphonHR, we understand E-Verify and the importance of the E-Verify Web Services integration.  We know that even a minimal disruption to the integration can cause a major disruption to your business and that is why we’re providing you these updates. We built our E-Verify integration, from the ground up, using E-Verify’s latest REST API integration technology.  By taking advantage of this newer integration platform, GryphonHR will be able to adapt quickly to E-Verify’s foreseeable product roadmap, without worrying about any “end-of-life” plans to E-Verify’s older SOAP integration standard.

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Form I-9 Responsibilities & Fines

Employers have responsibilities they must adhere to during the hiring process as it relates to the Form I-9.   All U.S. employers must complete the Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States; which includes both U.S. citizens and non-citizens.  

Both the employee and employer must complete the form. The employee must attest to his or her employment authorization as well as present the employer with acceptable documents establishing both identity and employment authorization.  The employer must examine the original/unexpired employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents and then determine whether the document(s) appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee.  Employers must retain the Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers.  Failure to adhere to these practices will result in penalties and fines, and sometimes even result in criminal charges.

In early 2020 a Texas construction company was fined $3 million dollars for their plan to hire undocumented workers while other companies were fined based solely on mistakes made on the Form I-9 itself. 

The Department of Homeland Security announced that Form I-9 fines will be increasing in 2020.  All new fines will be effective for penalties calculated after June 17,2020 for associated violations which occurred after November 2, 2015. 

The new fines are reported below:

Penalties for Knowingly Hire / Continuing to Employ Violations

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Penalties for Substantive and Uncorrected Technical Substantive Verification Violations

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TPS for South Sudan Extended for 18 Months

The Department of Homeland Security has decided to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for South Sudan for 18 months, through May 2, 2022. Current beneficiaries who want to maintain their status must re-register from Nov. 2, 2020, through Jan. 4, 2021.

Given the time frames for processing TPS re-registration applications, USCIS has automatically extended the validity of certain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) issued under the TPS designation for South Sudan through May 1, 2021.

Completing Form I-9

To complete or update Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for TPS South Sudan beneficiaries who present an EAD with a Category Code of A12 or C19 and a Card Expires date of Nov. 2, 2020, enter May 1, 2021, as the new expiration date of the automatically extended EAD on Form I-9. You must reverify these employees before they start work on May 2, 2021.

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Form I-9 and COVID Procedures

The Department of Homeland Security has temporarily relaxed the standard protocol for in-person verification of Form I-9 Section 2 documentation process earlier this year due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

What does this mean?

In March of 2020, the Department of Homeland Security relaxed the requirements regarding the Form I-9 as it relates to viewing of Section 2 documentation. Employers with employees taking proximity protections are not required to review an employees Section 2 identity and work authorization documents in person, and instead requires employers to inspect the documentation remotely (using a video call, email, fax etc.). For any Form I-9 completed using this measure, the employer is required to record “COVID-19” in the Additional Information box within Section 2 as a reason for the physical inspection delay. Employers who participate in this process are also required to provide written documentation of their onboarding process for each employee whose forms was completed this way. Note that the employer is entirely responsible for this process.

When normal operations resume, any employee who was onboarded using the relaxed protocol will need to present the documentation provided for the Form to the employer for it to be inspected. This must be completed within 3 business days of resumed normal operations. Employers must also update the Form I-9 stating that “documents physically examined” with the examination date in the Additional Notes field, or within Section 3, whichever is appropriate.

The policy only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely and was originally set to expire January 31, 2021. On January 28, 2021, DHS announced that, due to ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, the Form I-9 flexibility policy will be extended for an additional 60 days, and is now set to expire on March 31, 2021.