New I-9 Form Released

Employers must begin using the new form by January 22, 2017

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a revised version of Form I-9. Employers must begin using the new form by January 22, 2017.  Until then, they may continue to use the version 03/31/2016 or the new version.   All employers must properly complete and retain a Form I-9 for each employee at the time of hire.

Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States.  Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present to his or her employer, acceptable documents that evidence the employee’s identity and employment authorization. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form.  The employer must examine the document(s) presented by the employee, determine if the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and identify the employee, and then properly record each document in the column of the I9 form.  The employer must retain Form I-9 for 3 years after hire or one year after termination, whichever is longer and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers.

I-9DOCUMENTS

Among the changes in the new version, Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” and streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals.

Other changes include:

  • The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly.
  • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators.
  • A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins.
  • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator.

The instructions have been separated from the form and include specific instructions for completing each field.

The revised Form I-9 is also easier to complete on a computer. Enhancements include drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. When the employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers.

Existing employees should not complete the new version of the I-9 form unless they have sufficient justification (such as when they must re-verify an employee because his or her work authorization is expiring and the form they used at the time is no longer valid).  Without sufficient justification, requiring an existing employee to complete a new I-9 may raise discrimination concerns.

Employers should continue to follow existing storage and retentions rules for all of their previously completed Forms I-9.

Failing to comply with Form I9 employment requirements may result in hefty fines that have increased.    An employer may be fined a minimum of $216 (previously $100) to a maximum of $2,156 (previously $1,100) for each form that has an error.  If you would like an audit completed of your I-9 forms, please contact HR One, Inc. today.  HR One clients can login to the members only portion of our website to access the new I-9 form.