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Form I-9 Changes on the Way: Is Your Company Compliant?

Changes to the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form are on the horizon. If your company hasn’t already begun reviewing these changes, it’s time to examine the changes to ensure you are compliant when the time comes. Effective January 22, 2017, all employers must use the newest version of the I-9 form which is dated November 14, 2016.

Let’s Review

Before discussing the changes to come, let’s review the purpose of the I-9 form in the workplace.  All employers in the United States are required to have employees complete Form I-9 to ensure they are legally authorized to work in the country. Employees must sign and complete the form upon acceptance of employment and provide any necessary documentation which proves their employment eligibility.

There are three lists of acceptable documentation which employees can choose from: List A, List B and List C.

List A: List A documents provide proof of both employment authorization and identity of the individual. Employees that choose documents from this list are not required to submit any other documents. Acceptable List A documents are:

  1.  Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)  (Note: Cards are accepted with or without a signature).
  2.   Employment Authorization Document Card that contains a photograph (Form I-766)
  3.   Foreign passport with Form I-94 or Form I-94A with Arrival-Departure Record                                    (Note: Form I- 94/94A is required when providing a foreign passport and the name must match. An endorsement providing work authorization and nonimmigrant status must be included. Employers must verify that the employment period on the endorsement has not expired.)
  4.  Passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands  (RMI) with Form I-94 or Form I-94A                                                                                                       (Note: This form of identification requires passports to be accompanied by Form I-94 or Form I-94A and provide immigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the U.S. and the RMI or F 
  5.  Foreign passport containing a Form I-551 stamp or Form I-551 printed notation

List B: List B documents are for proof of identification only and must be accompanied by an acceptable document from List C. Acceptable List B documents are:

  1.   Driver’s License
  2.   ID Card
  3.   Social Security account number card that is unrestricted
  4.   Certification of Report of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form FS-545)
  5.   Certification of Report of Birth issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form DS-1350)
  6.   Original or certified copy of a birth certification issued by a state, county, municipal authority or  outlying territory of the United States bearing an official seal.
  7.  Native American tribal document.
  8.  US. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)
  9.  Identification Card for Use of Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179)
  10.  Employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

List C:  List C documents establish employment authorization only and must be accompanied by an acceptable document from List B. Acceptable List C documents are:

  1. Social Security account number card that is unrestricted
  2.  Certification of Report of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form FS-545)
  3. Certification of Report of Birth issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form DS-1350)
  4.  Original or certified copy of a birth certification issued by a state, county, municipal authority or outlying territory of the United States bearing an official seal.
  5.  Native American tribal document.
  6.  US. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)
  7.  Identification Card for Use of Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179)
  8.  Employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Changes to Form I-9

Now that we have reviewed the I-9 form requirements, let’s take a look at the changes. The first notable change can be found in Section 1. The previous version of the form asked for “other names used”, the new version is worded “other last names used”. While this may seem a minute change, it is still important that the newest form be used to ensure compliancy. Additional changes include the following and can be found at https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-revises-form-i-9-used-all-new-hires-us:

  • The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly.
  • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators.
  • A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins.
  • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator.

Employers may use the current I-9 form through January 21, 2017 but beginning January 22, 2017 the version dated November 14, 2016 must be used. If you need a review of how to use the I-9 form or if you are a new business just starting to hire, a the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides a free Form I-9 webinar and a free E-Verify Webinar  on its website.

Additional Considerations

According to Triton Benefits and HR Solutions, additional considerations for employers regarding the use of Form I-9 include the following:

  • Form I-9 does not need to be filed with the government. Employers must keep these forms in case the business is audited. Forms must be kept up to three years after the date of hire or one year after the date of employee separation from the company.
  • A job offer must be extended and accepted before an I-9 form can be completed.
  • Both employee and employer documents must have proper dates.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducts random audits of businesses to ensure Form I-9 compliance. Should your company be found to be non-compliant, you will be notified by ICE and given a ten day grace period to correct any issues found. If you fail to comply and make necessary corrections, one or more of the following penalties can be instated: 

  • Fines of up to $1,100 per violation
  • Criminal prosecution
  • Additional fines of $375 to $16,000 per violation
  • Banished from receiving any further government benefits

For more information on what an ICE inspection entails, please visit www.ice.gov.

SB Checks is your source for background checks and I-9 compliance. Our professionals are standing by to help you with your employment needs and answer any questions you may have on the background check process or compliance forms required at hire. Please call (888) 725-2535 or visit sbchecks.com for more information.