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The New Form I-9: What’s Different?

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 4/30/2013
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Those of you following us on Facebook or Twitter know that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) recently revised the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9). Though optional since early March 2013, the revised Form I-9 will become mandatory on May 7, 2013. As of this date, employers must stop using prior versions of the Form I-9 and begin using the version dated 03/08/13. (The version date can be found at the bottom of the form.)

I-9’s are used by employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of every new employee hired in the United States, regardless of citizenship. This process is authorized by the Immigration Reform and Control Act to preclude the unlawful hiring, recruiting or accepting a fee for the referral of aliens who are not authorized to work in the United States.

According to the USCIS, the new Form I-9 is designed to minimize errors by:

  • by expanding Form I-9 from one page to two pages (excluding instructions);
  • improving the form’s instructions;
  • adding data fields for the employee’s telephone number and email address;
  • requiring “aliens authorized to work” to provide an Alien Registration Number or Form I-94 Admission Number;
  • changing the “Maiden Name” data field to “Other Names Used”; and
  • enumerating—though not changing—the list of employer certifications in Section 2.

Employers must use the new Form I-9 for those employees hired, rehired, or who require re-verification on or after May 7, 2013. Employers are not required to complete the new I-9 for current employees, assuming a properly completed I-9 is already on file.

Despite these modifications, other aspects of the Form I-9 process have not changed. For example,

  • Newly hired employees must complete and sign their I-9’s no later than the first day of employment, but not before they accept a job offer.
  • Employers must examine evidence of identity and employment authorization (using acceptable documents only) within 3 business days of the employee’s 1st day of employment.
  • Completed I-9’s must be kept throughout an employee’s employment.
  • When employment ends, the completed form must be retained by the employer for either 3 years after the date of hire or 1 year after the date employment ended, whichever is later.
  • If an employer makes copies of an employee’s verification documentation (not required), these copies must be kept with the completed Form I-9.
  • Completed I-9’s are not filed with the USCIS.
  • Completed I-9’s must, upon request, be made available for inspection by authorized officials of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor and the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.
  • Employers cannot specify which document(s) they will accept from an employee and cannot discriminate against employees during the Form I-9 process.

Though the transition to the new Form I-9 should not be too disruptive, employers need to recognize that confusion and error typically accompany change. Since the failure to ensure proper completion and retention of I-9’s may subject an employer to civil and possibly criminal penalties, steps must be taken to ensure a smooth and effective transition to the new Form I-9.

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The Human Equation prepares all risk management and insurance content with the professional guidance of Setnor Byer Insurance and Risk.


12/29/2016 11:44:42 AM #

Are You Ready for the New Form I-9?

Are You Ready for the New Form I-9?

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