We’re entering an era in the United States where immigration reform is a hot-button issue, and the current administration is going to be looking hard at compliance as they issue new guidelines, rules and regulations for foreign workers in the United States. For businesses of every size, that means making sure you constantly remain up-to-date on the latest forms and requirements for your employees, both U.S. citizens and foreigners.
The I-9 Form
The I-9 Form is one of the most important forms that you as an employer must complete with anyone whom you recruit to work in your company. It verifies your employee’s eligibility to work in the United States and is required by federal law. The last I-9, which was originally issued in 2013, expired on March 31, 2016. If you’re still using this old form, you need to cease doing so immediately and begin using the updated form.
An updated form was published by the USCIS — the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services — on November 14, 2016. This new form carries with it several important changes and new options, including a new electronic version, which can help avoid common errors, but may require some training before using.
Easier to Use
The changes to the new form are designed to make it easier to use and avoid mistakes that were common on the previous version. Some of these changes include:
– “Other last names used,” rather than simply other names
– Certification of some foreign nationals has been streamlined
– Reminders to include accurate information
– New fields denote translators or multiple form preparers
– A new additional information field
– Preparer and translator supplemental page
The instructions for the form have also been separated from the form itself, in keeping with the current presentation of other USCIS forms and documents. While this requires a separate download for the directions, it has also enabled the USCIS to be more detailed and clear regarding the information it presents for completion of each individual field on the form.
In addition, now available with the new publication is an electronic form, which may make it even faster and easier to process than before. The electronic version has a number of features designed to expedite and simplify the process overall, including:
– Drop-down selectable menus
– Clickable calendars for date fields
– On-screen instructions for completing fields
– Fast access to complete and detailed instructions
– Clear-and-restart function to wipe the form clean in case of errors
– Printable, with QR code generator
Keeping in Compliance
It’s essential that if you have not already switched over to the new I-9 form, you do so as soon as possible. As of January 21, 2017, use of the old forms is no longer in compliance with federal law. If you aren’t sure where to find the new form, or need help and guidance in its completion, Quad West HR experts are available to help. Just give us a call for more information or to find out how we can help with your HR problems today!