Earlier this year we reported that the Office of Management and Budget approved a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which employers were to begin using in January.
Further revisions to the new form were announced on July 17, and go into effect on September 18, 2017, at which point all previous versions of the Form I-9 will be invalid. Details about the additional revisions and the updated I-9 forms are available at: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/whats-new.
As a reminder, all employers have an obligation to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all newly-hired employees through the completion of the Employment Eligibility and Verification Form I-9. The Form I-9 contains the signature of the employer and the employee, and it records the relevant data from the documents that the employer inspected to confirm the employee’s authorization to work in the United States. It is important that the employer clearly identify the reviewed documents and their identification numbers. It is not necessary to retain copies of these documents. Employers are required to maintain for inspection the original Form I-9 for all current employees. In the case of former employees, retention of Form I-9 is required for a period of at least three years from the date of hire or for one year after the employment relationship terminates, whichever is longer.
The U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security through its U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE) are the government agencies with authority to audit I-9 compliance. ICE is committed to increased work-site enforcement, particularly in cases of low skill and high turnover industries. Employers should regularly audit their I-9 procedures, compliance, and recordkeeping, as well as establish a protocol at the “front desk” to identity persons responsible to deal with government inquiry; Employers should also be sure that all policies and protocols relating to recordkeeping and government compliance are current and understood by key employees.
For more information about the new I-9 forms, or any other Immigration Law matter, please contact Elaina Smiley, Joel Pfeffer or Gary Sanderson.
This material is for informational purposes only. It is not and should not be solely relied on as legal advice in dealing with any specific situation.