According to U.S. law, since the Immigration Reform and Control Act was passed in 1986, all employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of potential employees on a Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have released a new version of Form I-9 which is to be used by companies starting on January 22, 2017 and beyond, although immediate implementation has been recommended. The new version of the form includes many changes which are intended to make it easier to read and resolve some common errors. To help clients and others understand the form changes; JLK Rosenberger has provided a summary of changes below.
Below is a list of key changes
- Asking for “other last names used” rather than “other names used” in Section 1
- A new field in which applicants can choose “Citizenship/Immigration Status” in Section 2
- The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly (e.g. validating that the correct number of digits are entered for an employee’s Social Security number and certain expiration dates)
- Drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates
- Easy access to the full instructions, which are now separate from the form itself
- An option to clear the form and start over
- Streamlined certification for certain foreign nationals
- A quick-response (QR) code and barcode that is automatically generated when the form is printed to streamline enforcement audits
- A new checkbox field below the employee’s signature line to indicate whether a preparer and/or translator was used to complete Section 1
- An additional page for the preparer/translator and ability to enter multiple preparers and translators
- A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins
Other Important Details
A few other items are important to note when it comes to the new Form I-9. First, the new I-9 is not the same as an electronic I-9. The PDF version is fillable in an effort to reduce errors, but it is intended to be printed and signed (which is not available as a fillable field). Forms that are partially hand-written and partially filled in via the fillable PDF are acceptable. In addition, current employees do not need to be re-verified on the new form.
The new Form I-9 will be mandatory in a few short weeks. If your company has questions about the changes or assistance with tax consulting, JLK Rosenberger wants to help. For additional information, please call us at 949-860-9893 or click here to contact us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.