Important Changes to the Form I-9 and Useful Tips
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Remember, today September 18th is the deadline for all employers to implement the new version of the Form I-9 released back in July 17, by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form applies to new hires only. All employers are still required to follow the existing storage and retention rules for all previously completed forms, as no changes have been made to this rule.
Here are the current instructions for the Form I-9 revision directly from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services publication dated July 17:
- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) changed the name of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.
- The USCIS removed “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment.”
Revisions related to the List of Acceptable Documents on Form I-9:
- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services added the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) to List C. Employers completing Form I-9 on a computer will be able to select Form FS-240 from the drop-down menus available in List C of Sections 2 and 3. E-Verify users will also be able to select Form FS-240 when creating a case for an employee who has presented this document for Form I-9.
- The USCIS combined all the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) into selection C #2 in List C.
- The USCIS renumbered all List C documents except the Social Security card. For example, the employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security on List C changed from List C #8 to List C #7.
You may also go to the Handbook for Employers, a valuable resource for those handling Form I-9 issues to get more information.
Important Tips to Consider
- Notify your Human Resources and/or Hiring team of the change and new procedure, and instruct them on implementing the new form to all new hires only.
- All employers are required to properly retain and store the form for each employee as long as they remain on payroll.
- It is very important also to set up alerts in your payroll system, if you are not part of E-verify, to remind you to re-verify employees who presented a work authorization document that have an expiration date. This may include, a work authorization card, an I-94 and foreign passports.
- It would a good practice to consider implementing a system that alerts the employer 90 days in advance before the expiration of the documents. Then follow up again in 60 and 30 days before the expiration date, to confirm the employee has received every opportunity to take necessary steps to extend his/her work authorization and to obtain the required documents to be re-verified.
- Once an employee has left the organization, Human Resources is responsible for establishing a system to retain, store and dispose the form. The proper rule is, either three years after the hired date or one year after the termination date, whichever is greater.
- Once the document has reach its elimination period, you must destroy the form. You may either shred it or hire a company that properly destroys documents containing confidential and important employee information. Employers should always consider the security of all personal information contained in the Form I-9, as well as any other corresponding documentation.
We hope this information is very helpful to you. We wish you much success in your organization.
Contact us today at 786-408-0700 to assist you with reviewing your current Form I-9 and retention procedure. You may also send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and a representative will gladly assist you with the process.
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