Employers must verify every new employee’s identity and authorization to work in the United States through the use of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. New employees must complete Section 1 of Form I-9 on their first day of employment and the employer must complete the remainder of the form, and review documents presented by the employee, within the first three days of employment. These basic requirements arise as a result of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, passed in 1986.
By January 22, 2017, employers will be required to use a new version of Form I-9. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced on November 14, 2016, that the new Form I-9 will have a date of 11/14/2016 (located in the lower left-hand corner). The existing Form I-9, with a date of 03/08/2013, will be acceptable until January 22, 2017.
USCIS states the new Form I-9 is intended to reduce errors and enhance completion of the form using computers. Specific changes include:
- In Section 1, “other names used” has been eliminated and replaced with “other last names used”
- Adding prompts to ensure information is entered correctly
- Allowing the entry of multiple preparers and translators
- Including a dedicated area for adding information rather than having to add it in the margins
- Adding a supplemental page for the preparer/translator
Another change, made to make Form I-9 consistent with other USCIS forms, is to separate the instructions from the form itself. The instructions also include specific direction for completing each field. Other changes include requiring employees to choose whether they are using a translator or preparer to complete the form, inserting “N/A” in any fields not completed, and completing a new box in Section 2 with the employee’s citizenship/immigration status.
In a further attempt to modernize completion of the form, USCIS has made the new Form I-9 easier to complete on a computer by including drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. In addition, after the form is completed and printed, a quick response (QR) code is generated automatically, allowing for most QR readers to easily read the code.
The revised Form I-9 is available at the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov.
The St. Louis employment and immigration attorneys at McMahon Berger have been representing employers across the country in labor and employment matters for almost sixty years, and are available to discuss this immigration issue and others. As always, the foregoing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice regarding any particular situation as every situation must be evaluated on its own facts. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.