While the incoming Trump Administration is expected to make many changes in immigration policy and law next year, as we reach the end of 2016, there are two changes now that employers should be aware of. First, an electronic version of the new I-9 form has been issued. The new I-9 form, dated November 14, 2016, must be used by employers for all new hires beginning no later than January 22, 2017. The new document can be found at the U.S. CIS website with this link: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.
The second change is a new, increased filing fee schedule that will go into effect on December 23, 2016. For example, the form fee for the I-129 Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker, which is used by most employers to obtain temporary workers, has increased from $325 to $460, while the form fee for the I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker has increased from $580 to $700. All cases must be received before December 23, 2016 to take advantage of the existing fee structure. The new fee schedule can be found at this link: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/g-1055.
In the coming year, we should expect changes to current immigration programs beginning with President Obama's Executive Orders dealing with DACA. The President-elect has indicated that immigration will be a priority of his administration, and we should expect some major changes in 2017. E-lerts on immigration and on other relevant employment issues will be sent out as the need arises.