Completion of New I-9 Forms Will Be Required After January 21, 2017

picture1Paperwork is either the bane of your existence or the very reason that you wake up in the morning. Unfortunately, unless you are an attorney or an accountant, it is very safe to assume the former; therefore, this news will be unwelcome to most ears. New Forms I-9 are in, and business personnel must be cognizant of the forthcoming changes. Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States.  Pursuant to federal law, any employer who recruits, refers for a fee, or hires an individual for employment in the U.S.  must complete Form I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification.

Thankfully, Form I-9 has been streamlined to limit completion errors. Instructions for completion have been separated from the form and now include special instructions for completing each field. Section 1 also has been amended to state “other last names used” instead of “other names used” to minimize confusion. This revised form attempts to combat the frustration associated with computer completion by including drop-down calendar lists, on screen-instructions for fillable fields, an option to start over, and a dedicated area for inputting additional information. Furthermore, a quick response (QR) code will be automatically generated when the form is printed by the employer, which can then be read by most QR readers.

Implementation of these new forms will not be immediate, as employers are permitted to continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of 03/08/2013 until January 21, 2017. After January 21, 2017, employers will have to use the revised Form I-9, dated 11/14/2016.

Employers also need to be aware that although their old forms will be phased out, existing storage and retention rules on previously completed Forms I-9 will remain in effect.

This article was written by Nezar Habhab, Law Clerk.

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