As the New Year Rolls in, so Does the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ “New” Form I-9

Posted by on 01.05.2017 in Posts | Comments Off on As the New Year Rolls in, so Does the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ “New” Form I-9

Though the New Year commemorates a time for fresh starts, seemingly endless opportunities, often-forgotten or deserted resolutions (yes, I’m talking about the diets) and an abundance of unused gym memberships, it also marks the long awaited implementation of the “new and improved” Form I-9 (edition date 11/14/16) which was recently published by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Employers and employees must begin using the revised Form I-9 form within days of New Year’s holiday.

Federal law mandates that companies may employ only those individuals, whether U.S. citizens or foreign citizens, who are legally authorized to work in the United States: Enter the Form I-9. According to the USCIS, Form I-9 is “used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States.” The form, which serves as an attestation to the employee’s employment authorization, must be completed by the employee and employer and accompanied by acceptable documentation evidencing the employee’s identity (the form contains a list of acceptable documentation on page 3). Surprisingly, Form I-9 is not to be filed with the USCIS or U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but instead, must be retained by the employer for three years after the date of hire or for one year after termination, whichever occurs later, for inspection by authorized U.S. Government officials.
Beginning on January 22, 2017, all employers and employees must utilize the “new” Form I-9 which is annotated “Form I-9 11/14/2016 N” on the bottom left hand corner. It is a violation of related regulations to use an expired version of the Form I-9 irrespective of the fact that the form is otherwise completed correctly. Using the correct Form I-9 edition is critical.

Significant changes to the form now require the employee to list “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” as required on previous editions. Additionally, the new Form I-9 mandates that an employee who identifies as an “alien authorized to work,” must list only one of the following numbers versus having to list multiple numbers as previously required: (1) the employee’s alien number; (2) I-94 admission number; or (3) foreign passport number.
The new Form I-9 can now be completed electronically on the USCIS website, in a “smart” PDF document, or alternatively, via hand on a paper form which is also available for print on the agency’s website at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9. Notably, Adobe Reader Version 8 is required in order to complete Form I-9 electronically, and the same must still be printed and signed by the employee and employer, as well as any preparer or translator, if applicable. Instructions and the link for downloading Adobe Reader Version 8 can also be located on the USCIS website.

For more information please contact Tiffany R. Temas at 412.281.4509 or ttemas@wglaw.com

Disclaimer: The contents of this post are for informational purposes only, are not legal advice and do not create and attorney-client relationship.