Revised Form I-9 Must Be Used No Later Than January 22, 2017

 Finally, after many months of delay, the revised Form I-9 was published by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) yesterday.  The new form is dated November 14, 2016 and can be used immediately. It MUST be used no later than January 22, 2017  or employers will face a civil penalty of up to $2,156 for each use of the expired form that has an expiration date of March 31, 2016.

Go to www.uscis.gov and locate the revised Form I-9 under “forms”.  Here are the key changes:

  • Section 1 asks for “other last names used” instead of “other names used.”
  • Section 1 added a box to check if the employee did or did not use a preparer or translator.
  • Section 2 added additional instructions to tell the employer to document information from the approved list of documents provided by the new hire.
  • Section 2 is more specific on the name of employer or authorized representative.
  • Other changes include:
    • 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 additional information to the margins of the Form I-9.
    • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator if needed.
    • The revised Form I-9 should be easier to complete on a computer, including drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over.

My recommendation is to print the new Form I-9, compare it to the one that expired in March, then destroy all copies of the Form I-9 with the March 31, 2016 expiration date and immediately start using the new Form I-9 with the August 31, 2019 expiration date.  This will ensure that you don’t lose track of the mandatory date of January 21, 2017 and put yourself at risk for penalties for using an expired Form I-9.

Leading HR sources indicate the new administration will most likely introduce legislation to make the E-Verify system mandatory for all employers, with a phase-in schedule based on the number of employees.   E-Verify (in my humble opinion) is the best tool out there for employers to show good faith compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act.  Complete, timely and accurate Form I-9’s, combined wiht the use of E-Verify, are both strong tools to help you stay in compliance.  As always, feel free to call us with any questions.  We are pleased to be able to refer you to a leading immigration attorney if you have legal questions about  compliance.

 

 

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