Employment eligibility verification is a crucial aspect of the hiring process for employers in the United States. To ensure that they are hiring individuals who are authorized to work in the country, employers must complete and maintain Form I-9 for each employee. In recent years, there have been significant reforms to Form I-9 and the introduction of a new version, which has left many employers seeking clarity and guidance.
This blog aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Form I-9 compliance, the latest reforms, and the key features of the new I-9 version.
Form I-9, officially known as the Employment Eligibility Verification form, is mandated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. Both employers and employees play essential roles in the completion of Form I-9.
To maintain compliance with Form I-9 requirements and avoid potential penalties, employers should consider the following key factors:
Timely Completion: Form I-9 must be completed by the employee no later than their first day of work, and employers must complete their section within three business days of the employee's hire.
Document Verification: Employers should carefully examine and verify the authenticity of documents presented by employees as proof of identity and work authorization.
Reverification: If an employee's work authorization expires, employers must reverify their eligibility by completing Section 3 of Form I-9.
Recordkeeping: Employers must retain Form I-9 for each employee for three years after the date of hire or one year after the date of termination, whichever is later.
Compliance Audits: Regularly audit your I-9 records to identify and correct any errors or omissions promptly.
If an employer has any questions about Form I-9 compliance, they should consult with an immigration attorney. An immigration attorney can help employers understand the latest Form I-9 requirements and develop Form I-9 compliance procedures.
The latest version of Form I-9 was published on August 1, 2023, and employers must begin using the new version of the form by November 1, 2023. The new version of Form I-9 has been revised to make it more user-friendly and easier to complete. It is also more secure, with features to help prevent fraud.
Here are some of the key changes in the new version of Form I-9:
Form I-9 compliance is critical to hiring and employing workers in the United States. Employers must stay informed about the latest reforms and updates to follow the correct procedures. By understanding and implementing these changes, employers can navigate Form I-9 compliance more effectively and reduce the risk of penalties for non-compliance.
To sum up, staying up to date with Form I-9 compliance is essential for all U.S. employers to ensure a legal and compliant workforce, protect against potential fines, and uphold the principles of a lawful workforce in the United States.