EIG Week in Review (Feb 28, 2014)


  • Virginia School Officials Mistakenly Destroy Thousands of Employee Files Noting Immigration Status
  • Procedural Reform on the Horizon for EU Immigration Requirements
  • Ukrainian Immigration Ministry Closure Impacts Immigration Processing
  • Canada to Permit Automatic Work Authorization for Foreign Students

Virginia School Officials Mistakenly Destroy Thousands of Employee Files Noting Immigration Status

Fairfax County public school officials in Northern Virginia mistakenly destroyed several thousand files noting employees’ citizenship status and could now owe over $6 million to the federal government.  Though the employee files were destroyed back in 2006, officials have just now discovered the catastrophic mistake during an audit of hiring records.

The destroyed files contained employee I-9 forms, which are used to verify a candidate’s identity as part of the pre-hiring process.  The federal government requires that employers retain I-9s for at least three years after a candidate is hired or for one year after an employee leaves the job, whichever is longer.  This requirement sets a fine of $110 to $1,100 for each missing form.

Fairfax County public school officials say that employees were notified of the missing files in December 2013, and thousands have completed new forms.  The county will now be keeping electronic copies of the files to ensure the retention of this important information.

The full article can be found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/fairfax-schools-system-destroyed-sensitive-worker-files-could-face-fine-of-up-to-6-million/2014/01/31/beb62e9c-8aaf-11e3-a5bd-844629433ba3_story.html?hpid=z5&utm_source=February+Immigration+News+%2B+Analysis+2014++&utm_campaign=Newsletter&utm_medium=email.

Procedural Reform on the Horizon for EU Immigration Requirements

The European Union is attempting to adopt a combined, single work and residence permit system for locally hired third-country nationals.  This new requirement was implemented by an EU directive and was supposed to go into effect on December 25, 2013; however, most EU member states failed to implement the new program by this deadline.

The directive asserts that EU member states should establish a single application process, though it gives member states the ability to develop their own procedures for implementing the new permit process into their already-established immigration systems.  Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom are exempt from this directive, and roughly 15 member states have failed to implement the single application process to date.

Employers could face delays in processing permits while member states begin to implement the directive’s requirements; however, the single permit system should eventually streamline the immigration process for both foreign workers and their employers.

Ukrainian Immigration Ministry Closure Impacts Immigration Processing

Following the ousting of former President Viktor Yanukovych, the rapidly changing political climate in Ukraine is causing delays in the processing of immigration cases and work permits.  Though the Ukrainian Parliament is currently naming an interim government, processing times could remain unpredictable in the event of further government closures.

Canada to Allow Automatic Work Authorization for Foreign Students

Beginning June 1, 2014, Canadian study permit holders who are enrolled in academic, vocational, or professional training programs for at least 6 months will receive automatic work authorization.  Currently, students wishing to obtain off-campus employment must apply for an Off-Campus Work Permit before accepting employment.  However, this expansion of work rights allows foreign students to be automatically authorized to work up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during scheduled breaks.  This change may make the recruitment and employment process easier for employers seeking to hire foreign students.