Whether employers are hiring United States citizens or foreign nationals with visa needs, onboarding is governed in part by immigration Form I-9. As a general basis, every employee must fill out a Form I-9 to prove both identity and eligibility to work in the United States. Immigration, more specifically ICE, is authorized and active in enforcing employers’ compliance with I-9 protocols. Restated, this innocuous form can create a lot of employer headaches if not completed and maintained correctly. Fortunately, Archer attorneys have a “deep bench” of experience in assisting clients with the nuances of I-9 compliance.
As an update, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released another revised version of Form I-9, with subtle changes to the form’s instructions and list of acceptable documents. The new edition is dated 7/17/17.
Employers can continue to use the November 2016 edition of Form I-9 until September 17, 2017. However, starting on September 18, 2017, only the 07/17/17 edition can be used.
A key change on the new Form I-9 that employers should be aware of is revised instructions in reference to how Section 1 of Form I-9 should be completed.
Prior Forms I-9 required that Section 1 had to be completed by “the end of the first day of employment.” By removing “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment,” USCIS emphasizes that the employee should “complete Section 1 at the time of hire (by the first day of their employment for pay).”
While we await specific guidance from USCIS concerning this change, employers should consider revisiting their onboarding practices to ensure that Section 1 of Form I-9 is completed no later than when the employee starts work for pay rather than by the end of the first day of employment.