The USCIS is requesting some applicants for Adjustment of Status to submit copies of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms that they (and their employers) completed for current or former employment. These requests are coming as RFEs or from local USCIS field officers.

The stated purpose is to help determine benefit eligibility, particularly to determine whether any false claims to U.S. citizenship were made to obtain employment – a possible basis for inadmissibility. This focus on false claims to U.S. citizenship first appeared in the agency’s December 2016 update to its policy manual specifically identifying false claims on an I-9 Form as a possible basis for inadmissibility.

A finding that a foreign national has made a false claim of U.S. citizenship has very serious consequences. The individual can be permanently inadmissible and, although waivers are available for non-immigrant admissions, most foreign nationals will not be eligible for a waiver to obtain a Green Card.

Because there are strict limitations on the use of the I-9 and the severe consequences of a false claim finding, employers must be careful when providing copies of I-9s or information derived from the I-9, including requests from current or former employees. Consult with immigration counsel before providing any I-9 records.