The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently updated the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. The newly revised nine-page Form I-9 makes several improvements designed to minimize errors in form completion.
The key revisions to the form include:
- Adding data fields, including the employee's foreign passport information (if applicable), telephone number and email address.
- Improving the form's instructions.
- Revising the layout of the form, expanding the form from one to two pages (not including the form instructions and the List of Acceptable Documents).
Use of the new I-9 Form is mandatory as of May 7, 2013. Unfortunately, these changes increase the administrative and compliance burden on employers. For FrankCrum clients' convenience, this form has already been updated in the FrankCrum electronic onboarding forms area. Employers are required to maintain the employee's Form I-9 for as long as the employee works for the employer and for either 3 years after the date of hire or 1 year after the date employment ended, whichever date comes later.
Also, employers are required to make their employees' Form I-9 available for inspection upon request by officers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices and the Department of Labor.
In 2007, ICE conducted about 250 audits. In 2012, the number of ICE I-9 audits increased to more than 3,000! Failure of an employer to ensure proper completion and retention of Forms I-9 will subject the employer to civil monetary penalties and, in some cases, criminal penalties.
Here's a look at the changes by section:
Section 1: Employer Information and Attestation
- This section has new optional fields for the employee's email address and telephone number.
- For an employee who checks "An Alien Authorized to Work Until...." and who was issued an I-94 card, will need to list the foreign passport number and country of issuance.
Section 2: Employer Review and Verification
- Employers will list the employee's full name at the top of Page 2.
- List A now has more room to list documents. The prior form only had room for two documents.
- The Certification Box adds numbers to the items the HR representative must attest to when reviewing the documents and separates the place where the employer is required to insert the employee's first date of work for pay.
- List A document number 5 has revised language. It basically includes the same information about foreign passports and I-94 cards.
- List C document number 1 provides clarification that Social Security Cards containing restrictions, such as "Not Valid For Employment," "Valid for Work Only with INS Authorization," or "Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization" are not acceptable.
- There is a new reference to Section 2 of the Handbook for Employers about information regarding acceptable receipts.
Re-Verification & Rehires
- List B identity documents do not require re-verification.
- A new field for the employer representative to print their name.
Employers should take time to thoroughly review the new form and revised "Handbook for Employers" to be aware of all of the changes and details included with the new Form I-9. You can access both by clicking here. Also, employers should ensure that all appropriate personnel are trained on the new Form I-9.
The new Form I-9 is just one example of the many challenges employers face. FrankCrum assists its clients in handling employment compliance; and that's just a small part of FrankCrum's value to your business.