Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is a familiar document to employers and hiring managers. In order to increase the ease of electronic completion and minimize reporting errors, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a revised version of Form I-9, which took effect January 22, 2017. The new form expires on August 31, 2019, so employers must be sure to use the updated version moving forward.
Used to verify an individual’s identity and employment authorization, Form I-9 is an important enforcement tool for several federal immigration laws. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire within the country. Though most employers are aware of and adhere to this requirement, the release of the updated Form I-9 is a chance to stress the importance of compliance and share tips for correct usage.
How to complete Form I-9
- Form I-9 consists of four pages. The first three pages are to be completed by the employee and employer, and the fourth page provides a list of acceptable documentation to use for proof of identity. All documents used must be current and cannot be expired.
- The employee must complete Section 1 of Form I-9, entering information in each box. If there are any areas that the information does not pertain to that particular employee, the employee must enter NA in any boxes that are left blank.
- The employer is responsible for completing Section 2 of the document. Please note, at that the top each section the employee’s first, middle and last name from Section 1 must be completed.
- It is also the responsibility of the individual who verified the documents to complete the Certification Section of the form.
- Section 3 is the responsibility of the employer, when a rehired employee’s name has changed or when the noncitizen, nonresident documentation of a current employee expires during the course of employment.
- Employers are not required to keep copies of the identification provided, however, if you choose to keep copies, copies must be kept for all Form I-9s on file.
Proper completion of Form I-9 allows employers to stay in compliance with federal requirements and avoid penalties or audits. Companies with questions about I-9 compliance or the new version of the form may contact Lindsey M. Heist at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717.394.5666.
Contributed by Lindsay M. Heist, Human Resources Consultant. Lindsay assists clients with a variety of HR projects and issues, including employee development, benefits/payroll and performance management. She has consulting experience across a wide variety of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, warehouse distribution, property management and nonprofits.