On July 17, 2017 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an updated I-9 form. On September 18, 2017, all employers will be required to use the revised form, so it makes sense to avoid any delay and begin use of the new version immediately.
What is an I-9 form and why do employers need to use it? The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires U.S. employers to verify the identity and eligibility to work on Form I-9.
All individuals, both U.S. citizens and aliens, hired on or after November 7, 1986 are required to complete the form when hired.
How do you complete the I-9?
As an employer, your duty is to verify that the employment documents employees present appear legitimate. In order to avoid a claim of discrimination on the basis of citizenship status or national origin, an employer is not allowed to ask an employee for a specific document. The employee’s duty is to fill out the form honestly. The Immigration Act prohibits a person from forging or falsifying any document for the purpose of obtaining a benefit.
When an employee presents documents from the acceptable list on the I-9 form, these are evidence of the employee’s right to work in the U.S. Absent clear evidence of the contrary such as the immigration enforcement informs you that the A# is wrong the employee says “I am not authorized to work,” the employer need not inquire further.
Once the I-9 is complete, rechecking documents is prohibited by IRCA.
Civil and criminal sanctions will be imposed on U.S. employers and individuals who, subsequent to November 6, 1986, hire or refer for a fee aliens who are not authorized to work in the United States.
Employers will need to adapt to these new changes no later than September 18, 2017 or face the possibility of large fines.
Call for a consult to determine what documents you need have on file to protect yourself. Call (646) 580-0617 or complete the contact form on this website.
Dena Wurman is an expert in I-9 forms in the following industries: Retail, Restaurant, Landscaping, Housekeeping, Maintenance, Construction. Beware! If caught, a repeat-offender employer of illegal immigrants can face civil and criminal fines (up to $11,000 per employee) and jail time (up to five years).