As of August 31, 2019, the most recent version of Form I-9 has expired. So, if you employ workers, this announcement probably got your attention. At this point, I imagine you are scrambling to get an updated version of the form. In fact, you are probably jumping off the couch now, forgetting all about the football game on TV.
Before you panic, let’s call a timeout and get into a huddle. In other words, there is more information to review before we start the ball in play. First we’ll go over the basics of the Form I-9, and then take a look at the playbook for our strategy. In no time, you’ll be ready to get back in the game.
What is the Form I-9?
In short, Form I-9 came on the scene in 1986, mandated by the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Now, the purpose of the form was to prompt employers to fact-check employees. So, Form I-9 is a government document that verifies a person’s identity. Furthermore, the document ensures employment eligibility in the U.S.
Who is responsible for completing the Form I-9?
In brief, completing the Form I-9 requires the attention of the employee and the employer.
First, the employer must give the employee the form as part of the new hire paperwork. Please note that it is critical that the employer provides the document to the employee at the time of hire or rehire. Furthermore, the employer must make sure that the form is properly completed.
Second, once the employer provides the Form I-9, the employee must promptly complete the form. However, it is the employee’s responsibility to complete only one portion of the form. The employee will complete the top portion of the form. This portion contains a cluster of boxes, followed by a grey bar. So, it’s fairly obvious where the employee section begins and ends.
Third, after the employee finishes, the employer requests identification from the employee. The forms of ID are broken into three lists.
What are the forms of ID on the three lists on the Form I-9?
So, the following breakdown shows the lists and some of the forms of ID on those lists:
List A – This document proves identity and employment authorization.
- U.S. Passport / U.S. Passport Card
- Permanent Resident Card
- Foreign Passport with I-551 stamp
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with photo
List B – This document proves identity only.
- Driver’s License
- ID Card Issued by federal, state, or local government agencies
- School ID Card with photo
- Voter’s Registration Card
- Military ID or Draft Record
- Native American Tribal Document
List C – This document proves employment authorization only.
- Social Security Account Number Card (unless the card states that the person is not authorized to work)
- Original Birth Certificate issued by the State
- Certified Copy of Birth Certificate bearing an official seal
- Native American Tribal Document
- EAD issued by the Department of Homeland Security
In conclusion, these lists are fairly inclusive. However, there is some additional information not mentioned. You can find additional details about each list on the Form I-9.
Now, it is important to know that if you provide a document from List A, that is the only form of ID you need to provide. However, if you don’t provide a document from List A, you will need to provide two forms of ID. So, you must provide any document from both lists B and C.
What information is on the Form I-9?
Well, if you look at the Form I-9, you will see that the document is three pages long. It looks intimidating, doesn’t it? However, once you dive in, it won’t be too bad. On the first page, you will see a set of instructions followed by a grey bar. That is where the employee begins. So, the employee completes the top portion of the document. The boxes require the employee to provide the following information:
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- U.S. Social Security Number
- Email Address
- Telephone Number
Then, the employee confirms citizenship and signs the form.
At this point, the employee must provide the employer with the aforementioned identification.
Next, the employer completes the bottom of the form using the identification documents. The employer must complete boxes including the following information:
- Preparer/Translator Name/Address/Signature
- Name of Employee
- Forms of ID provided
- Business Information
Finally, the employer will make a copy of the employee’s ID, and keep a copy of the I-9 and the ID on file.
Where can I get a current Form I-9?
So, here’s the good news. The right-hand corner of the Form I-9 does show an expired date, however, the USCIS has not yet published a new form. Therefore, you don’t need to do anything at this very moment.
Now, once the USCIS publishes the new form, you will be able to download it from the USCIS website. At that point, you will notice a few minor changes. While the information required on the form won’t change, the instructions will.
Overall, we expect the following instructional changes to the new Form I-9:
- To start, employers will designate authorized representatives of the company to complete the form. The employer will remain liable for any completion violations.
- Next, it will no longer be necessary to write N/A in spaces not completed on the form.
- Also, the current form lists the Employment Authorization Document twice. On the new form, only List A will include the EAD.
Of course, it is important to note that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website also provides the Form I-9 in Spanish. Additionally, there are links to instructions in Spanish. This way, the purpose of the form and instructions will be clear to Spanish-speakers.
So, let’s review the playbook once more. We know that the purpose of this announcement is twofold. First, we want you to know that the current Form I-9 has expired, and the USCIS hasn’t yet published a new form. Second, when the new form is published, only the instructions on the form will likely change. Finally, be confident that we will let you know once the new form is available. Furthermore, we will make you aware of additional changes. Got it? Good.
Hopefully, this information helps you relax. So, rest assured that you are still in compliance with your Form I-9. Now, find that comfy spot on the couch, put your feet up, and get back to that football game. And, break!
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This is not meant to provide legal counsel or advice. Every situation is different. Please contact an HR professional or employment attorney before taking any action.
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