On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service updated and published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 (visit our free forms to download). Employers should begin using the revised Form I-9 immediately for all new hires and all re-verifications.
Effective May 8, 2013, employers will be REQUIRED to use the revised Form I-9 and could face penalties if found to not be using it. Prior versions of Form I-9 will not be accepted after May 7, 2013.
What’s New about the form?
• Adding data fields, including the employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable) and telephone and e-mail addresses.
• Improving the form’s instructions.
• Revising the layout of the form, and expanding the form from one to two pages (not including the form instructions and the List of Acceptable Documents).
How should HR prepare for the new form?
• Assign a team member to spearhead the transition to the new form.
• Familiarize yourself and your team with changes to the form; this is a good time to also review Form I-9 requirements, in general, to ensure your organization understands the requirements for each section as they relate to regulations.
• Identify areas where business processes may need revising.
• Partner with your electronic I-9 software developers to ensure a smooth implementation of the new form so that you are up and running effective May 8, 2013.
What should HR be doing anyway?
• Form I-9 is only required for all employees hired after November 6, 1986.
• The Form I-9 must be completed AND dated within 3 business days after the employee’s hire date. They cannot complete it until AFTER they have received and accepted a conditional offer of employment. Use an Offer Letter to document this was the case.
• The employer must examine the original documents, not photo copies, to ascertain if they are genuine.
• The employer cannot TELL the employee WHAT documents to bring for examination. A list of documents is provided on the Form I-9. Give this list to the employee so they can choose what documents they have that satisfy the requirements.
• All documents must be UNEXPIRED!
• Section 1 is completed by the employee and signed and dated.
• Section 2 is completed by the employer and signed and dated. This should be the SAME person who examined the original documents. Within the “Certification” paragraph, there is a blank line to insert the employee’s hire date. This is often left blank. Be sure to complete this and ensure it is the correct hire date that was used on the Offer Letter.
• Section 3 is ONLY for RE-verification so this is left blank UNTIL it is time to RE-verify the employee’s documents. You should have some type of tickler/reminder system in place for Form I-9 re-verifications. Every document must maintain an unexpired date, including Driver’s Licenses.
• Store the I-9s separate from the Personnel Files. A binder is a good method. Use alphabetical dividers for organization. Keep the binders locked. Electronic storage and signatures are allowed.
• Remember the retention for I-9s is the duration of employment PLUS one year OR 3 years from the date of hire, whichever is longer. It is not necessary to keep I-9s beyond the retention period.
This information has been provided by Your HR Resource.