New USCIS Form I-9 Now Effective
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) issued a revised Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification), which replaces the form dated March 8, 2013. The new Form I-9, which must be utilized beginning January 22, 2017, is dated November 11, 2016, and can be found on the USCIS website at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9. The new form is only required for new employees hired on or after January 22, 2017, or for reverification for current employees whose verification has expired. The most significant change for the new Form I-9 is the introduction of “smart fields” and instructions in the Portable Document Format (“PDF”) version available on the website. The new smart fields are intended to ease the burden of completing the form through features like drop down lists, calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, and easy access to full instructions. Other updates include certain automatically generated codes for each printed form that can be read by a code reader during an audit.
Failure to utilize the new Form I-9 and comply with the modified requirements may subject employers to substantial fines or penalties. It should be noted that the USCIS recently doubled the civil fines for non-compliance with the I-9 requirements. Based on the increased fines for non-compliance and the current administration’s emphasis on immigration enforcement, employers should consider carefully reviewing their I-9 compliance policies.
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