United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of all individuals (citizens and non-citizens) hired for employment. On July 17th USCIS released a new form and employers have 60 days to implement this new version.
First introduced in November 1986, this form is completed by both the newly hired Employee (where they state their eligibility to work -Section 1), and the Employer (where they verify the employee’s eligibility -Section 2) within three days of hire. The list of acceptable documents referenced by the employer to verify the employee’s eligibility can be found on page 4 of the form.
The completed Form is not filed with any government agency, alternatively it needs to be maintained in the company’s files for three years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later. The form must be made available for inspection by authorized U.S. Government officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or Department of Justice. It can be stored in hard-copy or in electronic format. The form is also available in Spanish, but this version is only to be used by employers and employees in Puerto Rico.
There are steep civil penalties for not having or completing the form properly as well as the potential for criminal penalties where there is a pattern or practice of violation. Failing to produce a single form when requested could subject the employer to a penalty in the range of $110 to $1,100. The penalty for knowingly hiring and continuing to employ violations could be as much as $16,000 per violation. An employer has much to risk with the improper use of this form. With that in mind, the USICS offers the IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers) program. This program assists employers develop a more secure and stable workforce, enhances fraudulent document awareness through education and training, and by voluntarily participating in this program, can possibly eliminate these penalties.
Employers can visit the USCIS I-9 Central website for more details about the form and the recent changes to the form.
If you are utilizing PayMaster HCM your new hires and the verifying manager can complete this form via their Employee Portal. Ask your Payroll Specialist for more information.