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August, 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Form I-9

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Everything You Need to Know About Form I-9

Many employers are aware that the current Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) is expiring on August 31, 2019. However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) still has yet to announce the news on an updated version or extension of Form I-9, leaving employers wondering how their processes will be impacted. With the August expiration date creeping closer, here’s a snapshot of what’s happening with Form I-9 and what the expiration of the current form means for you.

What Do We Know?

Although there hasn’t been an announcement regarding the expiring Form I-9, businesses need to be aware of employer responsibilities when it comes to immigration law updates during the hiring process. Employers need to ensure the collected information is accurate with the correct form, so major consequences can be avoided.

Why Does This Matter?

In recent years, enforcement efforts have increased, making it more important now than ever for employers to keep Form I-9s up to date to avoid civil fines and criminal penalties.

Employers can violate the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) and Form I-9 policies by:

  • Knowingly hiring an unauthorized individual for employment in the United States or knowingly continuing to employ an unauthorized individual.
  • Failing to comply with Form I-9 verification requirements or failing to notify the Department of Homeland Security of a Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) of an individual’s eligibility for U.S. employment.
  • Committing document fraud or abuse to satisfy a requirement of the verification process.
  • Unlawful discrimination against an employment-authorized individual.
  • Hiring, recruiting, or referring unauthorized aliens.

Employers who violate these IRCA policies may be subject to:

Civil Fines and/or Criminal Penalties

Civil Fines and/or Criminal Penalties

Employers who continually violate IRCA and Form I-9 policies may be subject to civil fines and criminal penalties.

Court Order

Court Order

Employers may receive a court order requiring the employer to hire or back pay an individual who was discriminated against based on their Form I-9.

Debarment from Government Contracts

Debarment from Government Contracts

Businesses who hold government contracts or have employees working in a government capacity may be barred from government contracts.

What Does This Mean For You?

If you are an HR manager or you work with your company’s hiring and onboarding process, then working with Form I-9 is nothing new. If you’ve been keeping up with news regarding the Form I-9, you’ll notice not much has been reported from the USCIS or the Department of Homeland Security. In light of the current expiration date, we’ve gathered some FAQs we think you should know:

What Is The Current Form I-9?

What Is The Current Form I-9?

The USCIS released the current Form I-9 on July 17, 2017, with updates to form instructions and revisions related to the list of acceptable verification documents.

What Is The Current Form I-9?

Does Form I-9 Expire?

Yes, the current version of Form I-9 will expire on August 31, 2019.

Is There a New Form I-9?

Is There a New Form I-9?

Since the USCIS or Department of Homeland Security hasn’t announced a release date on a new version for employers to use, past Form I-9 practice instructs employers to continue using the current form until a new version is released.

Do I-9 Forms Have to be Updated?

Do I-9 Forms Have to be Updated?

Businesses do not have to update Form I-9 for employees as new versions of the Form are released. Employees are required to update an employee’s documentation only when the employee’s employment authorization document (EAD) or receipt has expired. Reverification of an individual’s EAD should occur before the actual expiration date of the work authorization to allow employees to update their documents. If the employer is unable to reverify the work authorization document, the worker is no longer eligible for employment.

Form I-9 Basics

If it’s been a while since you’ve explored Form I-9 and its requirements, here’s a refresher on the basics:

What is Form I-9 and Why Do We Use It?

The Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the U.S. The USCIS has been using the Form I-9 since 1986 under IRCA as a means to restrict employers from knowingly or unknowingly hiring unauthorized individuals for employment in the United States.

Under the IRCA employers are also prohibited from:

  • Continuing to employ an individual knowing that they are unauthorized for employment in the United States.
  • Hiring any individual, including a U.S. citizen, for employment without verifying their identity and employment authorization on Form I-9.

Who Needs to Complete the Form I-9?

Individuals must complete a Form I-9 to be legally employed in the United States. These individuals are required to present documents confirming their identity and employment authorization to complete Form I-9 for employment. Once the form is completed, then employers must examine the documents to determine if they are reasonably genuine, and then record the document information on Form I-9. In addition to verifying an individual’s documents, employers must retain the forms for a designated period and provide them for inspection by authorized government officers.

How a Workforce Management Solution Can Help

With the approaching expiration date, does your current payroll and HR solution track and manage the Form I-9? If not, you may be exposing your company to compliance risks and hefty penalties. Consider switching to a unified workforce management solution that collects and stores Forms I-9 in a single solution. With a single solution, you’re able to track and manage Forms I-9 the following ways:

 Document Management

Document Management

The USCIS requires employers to store their Forms I-9 with personnel records onsite or at an off-site storage facility. Forms I-9 can be stored in either a paper, microfilm, or electronic format. Having an online solution that offers online document management makes it easy to store all of your important employee documents electronically in a secure, unified database.

Ensuring Compliance

Ensuring Compliance

A total workforce management solution that tracks employee verification documents helps organizations follow USCIS requirements and ensures compliance. Having a solution that provides a list of expired verification documents and documents that are about to expire creates a more proactive management strategy for I-9 requirements and decreases risk.

Staying Compliant with Form I-9

The August 31st expiration date is quickly approaching, so now is the right time to evaluate your current processes around the current Form I-9. As expiration dates come for other required new-hire and personnel forms, you’ll have to determine your company’s updating, storing, and managing procedures for these forms.

When you work directly with your organization’s hiring and onboarding processes, it’s best to stay informed on immigration-related policy and form updates that will affect your business and employees. Consider implementing a workforce management solution that electronically houses your data, so you can securely store and manage Form I-9 information while reducing compliance risk for your company.

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