Earlier this year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Employee Form I-9. Employers are required to begin using the new form by January 22, 2017.
Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is required under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), which requires employers to verify the employment eligibility and identity of new employees by reviewing documents provided by the employee, such as passports, visas, licenses, etc., and completing the Form I-9. This requirement applies to all new employees, including U.S. citizens. In the past, employers have had difficulty complying with all I-9 requirements and errors were frequently made when completing the form. The new form is intended to help reduce errors.
According to the USCIS, changes in the new version include:
- Section 1 now asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” and streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals.
- The 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 it in the margins.
- A supplemental page for the preparer/translator.
Instructions are found separate from the form and clearly define what is needed to complete each field in the form, making it easy to complete.
The new I-9 form is not only more user friendly but is now much more simple to use on a computer. New advancements have been made to the form including: drop-down lists, easy fill in calendars, and an option to clear the form and start over. Other advancements made for employers include a scan friendly QR code which is automatically generated when forms are filled out.
Employers should continue to store and maintain all previously completed I-9 forms. HR departments that rely on Complete Payroll Solutions’ Workforce Management System are able to electronically store I-9 forms with other benefits and HR files for easy viewing and reporting.