what the new I-9 form means for employers

If you’ve ever gotten a job or hired an employee in the United States you’ve filled out an I-9 form. The form is used to verify a new hire’s identification and their right to work in the States. All U.S. employers must complete (including document verification) and store an I-9 form for every single individual they hire to work in the U.S, both citizens and non-citizens. A new I-9 form was released in July, luckily, the form is still only 3 pages long.

Completing an I-9 form

New employees must complete their section of the I-9 form after accepting a job offer and before finishing their first day of employment. Employers have 3 days from the new employee’s first day to complete their section and examine the employee’s documents.

Keep in mind that an employee’s first day of employment isn’t necessarily their hire date as set out in their employment contract, it’s the first day that they show up to work. For example, if your new employee’s hire date is set to be Monday but they come down with the flu and can’t come into work until Thursday, Thursday is their first day of employment.

Once the form is complete, you don’t submit it to anyone, instead, you store it for 3 years after the date of hire or 1 year after the date of employment ended, whichever is later. Fortunately, all I-9 forms can be filled out, signed and stored electronically, just so long as they are stored securely and are made available for any authorized officials, of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division Immigrant and Employee Rights Section or the Department of Labor, who would like to inspect them.

Examining and verifying an employee’s documents – E-Verify

Individual employers have the option to use E-Verify to authenticate an employee’s documents.

The E-Verify program is a free online service that runs the information from the employee’s documents through government databases, to check it’s authenticity. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Verification Division, and the Social Security Administration.

Some companies, such as AIS, are directly integrated with E-Verify, these companies are called employer agents. This means that AIS can act as an authorized agent on your company’s behalf and not only help you fill out the I-9 forms but also verify your employee’s documents quickly and easily.

What has changed with the new I-9 form?

You may have heard that a new I-9 form was released in July. Employers have until September 17, 2017 to switch to the latest version.

Not a lot has changed with this latest revision. The same information is required but the template is slightly different. The list of acceptable documents has been modified and the handbook for completing the I-9 form is now easier to navigate.

Streamlining your I-9 process

If you will be hiring or recruiting a large number of employees, we recommend streamlining your I-9 process by outsourcing it. Since AIS is an employer agent and therefore directly integrated with E-Verify, they can act as your company’s authorized agent to take care of everything related to the new I-9 form and process.

More information and resources

The information in this post is from the experts at AIS and the official website of the Department of Homeland Security, specifically the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services section: https://www.uscis.gov.

On the website, you can find more information about the new I-9 form,  the E-Verify program, and other helpful resources. It is also where you can find the new I-9 form to download and use, as well as the instructions and handbook to help you fill out the forms if you choose to do so yourself.

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