February, 2017

The New Form I-9 Is In Effect: Now What?

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The New Form I-9 Is In Effect: Now What?

The newly made over Form I-9 is now officially in use. The updated form can be accessed on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website and is in effect until 8/31/2019. So now that employers have to start using the new form, what does this mean for HR managers? Let’s look at some key highlights of the new I-9:

New Form I-9 Highlights

  • The “smart” capabilities include a fillable PDF version and field validation error-checking features.
  • The instructions have been updated, so make sure to read them carefully before filling out an I-9.
  • Key change to Section 1 - the requirement to enter N/A in a field that would have otherwise been left blank.
  • Key change to Section 2 - a new field asks for the new hire’s citizenship or immigration status.
  • No changes to Section 3, but re-verifications must be completed using the new form.

A full list of changes to the new Form I-9 can be viewed here.

NOTE: Although the new Form I-9 has smart capabilities, that does not make it electronic. Employers will still need to print the form, obtain handwritten signatures, store them in a safe place, monitor re-verifications, and updates, and retype information into E-Verify as required to ensure HR compliance. If Form I-9s are not tracked and managed accordingly and an employer is audited, the penalties can be hefty.

Bottom line, HR managers need to make sure they read the instructions prior to filling out the new Form I-9 and need to continue to be familiar with immigration-related anti-discrimination laws to stay compliant.

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