It seems like we just had a new Form I-9 issued in November 2016, effective in January 2017. We did. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an updated version of the I-9 Form on July 17, 2017. This new form will be mandatory to verify employment eligibility on September 18, 2017. The revised form issued on November 14, 2016 can be used through September 17, 2017. The current storage and retention rules remain the same. “The new version brings very subtle changes to the form’s instructions and list of acceptable documents, which were created with the theoretical goal of making the form easier to navigate,” said Davis Bae, managing partner of the Seattle office of law firm Fisher Phillips. “Besides changing the wording on the form in almost imperceptible ways, the new version renumbers all List C documents except the Social Security card, and streamlines the certification process for certain foreign nationals.”[i]
Below are six, common I-9 Questions:
- Returning Summer Employees: “If you rehire an employee within three years of the date that a previous Form I-9 was completed, you may either complete a new Form I-9 for your employee or complete Section 3 of the previously completed Form I-9, as long as the original I-9 shows current work authorization.”[ii]
- Re-verify a Female Employee Upon Getting Married: There is no requirement to re-verify a female employee or any employee who has a name change, currently. “One other interesting point about transgender employees: The “Other Names Used field in the form has been changed to Other Last Names Used” to avoid potential discrimination issues and provide increased privacy for transgender individuals and others who have changed their first names.”[iii]
- Scan I-9s and Store Electronically: Due to the complexity of the rules and regulations regarding electronic scanning of I-9 Forms, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) recommends using a qualified vendor to store I-9 Forms electronically.
- End of Retention Period: Shred I-9 Forms at the end of the required retention period. However, verify the retention period requirements prior to shredding any documents.
- Completion Date of I-9 Form: The form can be completed as soon as you offer an individual the job and the job is accepted. It is best practice to have the offer and acceptance in writing. Remind employees to bring the required documentation on the first day of work, if you do not require completion prior to the first day.
- Expired Driver’s License with a Receipt for Extension: This is not legal. “You may accept a receipt for a driver’s license that was requested to replace a license that was lost, stolen or damaged.”[iv]
We have seen multiple revisions to the I-9 Form over the past 10-months. Remember to use the correct form on the dates required. Switching the form now will save you time in September 2017. Review the latest identification requirements and know what is acceptable when you are filling out the form. Remember to fill out the form completely and ensure that the employee fills in their sections completely, signs and dates. If you are confused seek guidance, I-9 Forms have grown in complexity and length since 1986.
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– Matthew Burr, HR Consultant