Effective January 22, 2017, all employers are required to begin using the newly revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently revised the form, which they claim is easier to use. The new form may be found at www.uscis.gov/i-9. The USCIS enhancements to the form include drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, as well as embedded instructions for each response field. The new electronic form does not accept electronic signatures and the form must still be printed, signed manually and retained in line with existing retention requirements.
Form I-9 changes include the following:
- Changing the “Other Names Used” section to read “Other Last Names Used”.
- A supplemental page to list multiple preparers/translators.
- A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins.
- Enhancements that allow for easier completion on a computer.
Employers should do the following:
- Update their current practices to include the new form.
- Encourage employees who are responsible for onboarding new hires to become familiar with the new form and its instructions, which are now separate from the actual form.
- Review internal Form I-9 practices to ensure continuing compliance with requirements.
- Conduct frequent Form I-9 audits of all forms to identify and resolve non-compliant issues.
The USCIS has also completed a helpful handbook for employers titled, Handbook for Employers, Guidance for Completing Form I-9. The handbook is designed to assist employers with questions concerning the completion of the Form I-9 and other regulations for compliance. The handbook may be found at www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/m-274.pdf .
For additional questions relating to the Form I-9, please contact us at www.newfocushr.com.
Written by: Kristen Deutsch, M.B.A., CCP