The I-9 Form is your way as an employer to verify your employee’s identity and establish that they’re eligible to accept employment in the United States. Yesterday, the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services and the Department of Homeland Security - the governing agencies that regulate the I-9 Form, issued a new revised form.
Links and instructions
Employers will be able to use this revised version immediately, but may continue using the Form I-9 with a revision date of 11/14/16 through September 17th of this year. Beginning September 18th, employers must use the revised form with a revision date of 07/17/17 for all new employees.
About the revisions
The revisions to the Form I-9 are minor and employers will not need to change their processes.
Revisions to the Form I-9 Instructions...
- The name of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices has been changed to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.
- The words “the end of” have been removed from the phrase “the first day of employment.”
Revisions related to the List of Acceptable Documents on Form I-9...
- The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) has been added to List C.
- All the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) have been combined into selection C#2 in List C.
- All List C documents except the Social Security card have been renumbered.
How to use the I-9 Form
The I-9 Form is the first and probably most critical form you need to complete to hire a new employee. It’s full name is the Employment Eligibility Verification I-9 Form. It’s issued by the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services and the Department of Homeland Security. The I-9 Form is your way as an employer to verify your employee’s identity and establish that they’re eligible to accept employment in the United States. By completing the I-9 Form, your prospective employee suggests that he or she meets one of the following criteria…
- They are a United States citizen
- They are a non-United States citizen national
- They are a lawful permanent resident
- Or, they’re an alien authorized to work in the United States
When you complete the I-9 Form, you as an employer are required to verify that all newly-hired employees present “facially valid documentation” (or some kind of photo ID if you want to use plain English). For most people, this is a driver’s license or a passport.
Your employee must complete their section of the I-9 form on their first day. Then, they have 3 days to provide the required documentation. Keep in mind, for whatever documentation your new employee provides, you as the employer need to see the original format. Copies don’t count here. You have to inspect the documentation and deem it legitimate to the best of your knowledge. Then, you as the employer need to complete section 2, and store it away. And that’s it. You don’t need to send it anywhere or take any additional steps. You’ll just need to be able to access it in the event of a labor dispute or in case you get audited. So make sure it’s stored in a safe space. Finally, we recommend filing the I-9 Form separate from your employee’s personal file - which is where you’d keep things like their application, offer letter and tax forms.
If you're hiring an employee, or think you might be soon, check out our comprehensive resource page, Employee Onboarding - A Complete Guide. This is a handy, tightly-packaged outline that presents all the critical hiring and onboarding elements in simple, chronological order.