Legal Alert: New I-9 Form

On July 17, 2017, the federal government released a new Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification. To prove eligibility to work in the U.S, new hires must complete an I-9 and provide their employers with the identification it requires. Despite coming only months after employers had to adopt the previous version, the new form must be used beginning on September 18, 2017.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency made a handful of changes to both the instructions and the form itself. Most notably, it added a new form of acceptable identification (“Consular Report of Birth Abroad,” Form FS-240) to the list of documents to show work eligibility. The new version also renumbers all List C documents, except the Social Security card, and streamlines the certification process for certain foreign nationals.

Some other subtle changes include the addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly, the ability to enter multiple preparers and translators, the creation of a dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to write information in the document margins, and a supplemental page for the preparer or translator to complete.

Although employers will be able to use the new version or continue using the previous Form I-9 through September 17, 2017, it makes sense to scrap the use of the November 2016 version and begin using the updated version right away. You should recycle all older versions you already have printed out, and instruct your hiring managers and human resources representatives to download newer versions of the form for use with new hires from this point forward. Employers must continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9.

Although the changes to the Form I-9 are slight, failure to use the new form and comply with the Form I-9 by the September 18 deadline can result in large fines. Simple Form I-9 violations consist of a minimum fine of $216 per violation and a maximum fine of $2,156 per Form I-9 violation.

For more information from USCIS, and to download the new form, visit: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/whats-new. For questions on the use of I-9 forms or other Human Resources assistance, contact the team of Gotcha Covered HR.