On January 31, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released its 14th version of the Form I-9. The I-9 is the main document used by employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must properly complete Form I-9 for each employee they hire employees, including citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form.
According to USCIS guidelines, employers may use the prior version (07/17/17 N) until April 30, 2020. Beginning May 1, 2020, however, employers must use the revised 10/21/19 version. The revised Form I-9 is very similar to the previous version but it does include a few clarifications and changes to help employers more clearly understand the document.
Failure to use the new form may add unnecessary risk and result in fines to your company. In addition to using the correct form version, it’s important that you implement and maintain proper procedures for completing the I-9. Monetary penalties for knowingly hiring and continuing to employ unauthorized workers can range from $573 to $20,130 per violation, with repeat offenders receiving penalties at the higher end. Employers should use the new I-9 form for new hires effective May 1, 2020 to avoid penalties. Information relating to recent changes, the new form version, and instructions for completing the form can be accessed at uscis.gov/i-9.
Be sure that the appropriate staff within your business reads and understands the I-9 and how to complete the form. Some best practices to use for I-9 compliance:
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