Four Years Later, DHS Finalizes Electronic I-9 Regulations

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has finalized the rule on the use of electronic signatures and storage of the Form I-9. First published in 2006 as a means of modernizing employers’ efforts to comply with employment eligibility verification, the rule remained in “interim” status four years, leaving many employers uncertain of how to proceed with an electronic I-9 solution.

Many of us in the field were cautiously optimistic when DHS first announced the rule in 2006…today’s rule is a step in the right direction, especially as employers continue to struggle with I-9 requirements in today’s climate of increasing enforcement

Four Years Later, DHS Finalizes Electronic I-9 Regulations. The LawLogix Guardian Electronic I-9 System meets and exceeds the requirements in the Final Rule.

Lawlogix Group, Inc., the leader in I-9 and E-Verify compliance software, announced today that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has finalized the rule on the use of electronic signatures and storage of the Form I-9, which must be completed for all new employees to document their eligibility to work in the U.S. The so-called “Electronic I-9 Rule” was first published in 2006 as a means of modernizing employers’ efforts to comply with employment eligibility verification. Despite many public comments and suggestions, the rule remained in “interim” status for four years, leaving many employers uncertain of how to proceed with an electronic I-9 solution.

“Many of us in the field were cautiously optimistic when the DHS first announced the rule in 2006,” said John Fay, VP of Products and Services and General Counsel of LawLogix. “Moving the error-prone I-9 process into the digital age seemed like a win-win decision for all involved. Unfortunately though, the proposed electronic I-9 rule was vague in certain areas and overly burdensome in others and, as a result, employers have been slow to adopt an electronic system which could save them a significant amount of time and headaches. Today’s rule is a step in the right direction, especially as employers continue to struggle with I-9 requirements in today’s climate of increasing enforcement.”

According to the DHS, the final rule published today provides additional guidance for employers by relaxing certain technical requirements of the original I-9 rule and allowing for flexibility in choosing the right system. In particular, the rule clarifies provisions relating to the electronic I-9 audit trail, data indexing requirements, and the employee receipt among others. DHS does not intend, however, to provide any additional guidance or requirements on a number of critical factors such as electronic signature, converting of paper I-9s, and security standards.

Dan Siciliano, co-founder of LawLogix and a frequent commentator on immigration and employment eligibility policy and reform, notes the dilemma this creates. “At the end of the day, the I-9 process is a compliance function which means that employers have to follow frequently changing and often contradictory rules to avoid government penalties. This is a constant struggle for employers. As a provider of electronic I-9 and E-Verify software, our approach has always been to take the most conservative reading of the current regulations and build solutions which enable our clients to make an informed decision in consultation with their own immigration counsel. This approach has clearly paid off, as the LawLogix Guardian solution meets and exceeds the requirements in both the final rule and the previous interim rule.”

To read more about the final rule on electronic I-9s, please visit the LawLogix I-9 and E-Verify blog at http://www.electronici9.com

About LawLogix
Lawlogix is the premier leader in Electronic I-9 Compliance, E-Verify and Immigration Software. We are the only company in our space with several attorneys dedicated exclusively to providing our US-based programming and support teams with a thorough and comprehensive interpretation of the regulations for electronic I-9s. We proactively monitor trends, government communications, and real world cases to ensure that our feature set will meet your needs and keep your organization safe as the I-9 and E-Verify industry changes. We have a 9-year track record and work with many prestigious corporations (e.g., one of the world’s top five largest banks, 3M, Pfizer, Aon Corp, Cargill, US Airways, Highmark and McKesson) to streamline employee recruiting and on-boarding processes while providing superior employee satisfaction with various HR immigration compliance experiences. For more information about LawLogix and our suite of solutions, please visit the LawLogix website at http://www.lawlogix.com.

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Emily Sweillam
LawLogix Group, Inc.
(602) 357-4240 ext. 7610
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