There is a new I-9 form and you had better start using it!

This is how you know you are using the correct form.

There are a number of changes the Trump administration is making that might make it slightly easier on employers. Changes in the wage and hour laws and rules revisions in OSHA safety regulations are just two of the ways that the new administration will be easier on employers. However, immigration is NOT going to be one of those areas.

New I-9 form

Just last November the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Service) published a new I-9 that was to be used as of January 2017. Now in July they have published a new form that is to be used as of September 18, 2017. However, it is suggested that you start using this I-9 immediately to avoid using the wrong from in September. The wrong form, if found in an audit, could cost you thousands of dollars in fines.

Here is what to do

If you use the pdf version of the I-9 currently then you need to link to and save the new form. You can find that here. You can also find the paper form at that same link if you prefer paper files. If you use paper copies and have printed off a supply in the past, get rid of those and print of a new supply of this new form. The new form has an expiration date of 08/31/2019 and an identifier in the lower left corner of the form of Form I-9 07/17/17 N.

MUST be used no later than

This new form must be in use by September 18, 2017, YES this September. It does not mean you have to go back and fill out new forms for every employee. BUT for every employee hired after September 18th, and preferably from this day forward, you need to use the new I-9.

Subtle changes

There is no real stated reason for making the change. According to the law firm Fisher Philips:

The new version brings very subtle changes to the form’s instructions and list of acceptable documents, which were created with the theoretical goal of making the form easier to navigate. Besides changing the wording on the form in almost imperceptible ways (for example, removing “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment,” and asking for “other last names used” rather than “other names used”), the new version renumbers all List C documents except the Social Security card, and streamlines the certification process for certain foreign nationals.
 Some other subtle changes include the addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly, the ability to enter multiple preparers and translators, the creation of a dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to write information in the document margins, and a supplemental page for the preparer or translator to complete.

Don’t question why it was done, just realize there is a new form and employers (ALL EMPLOYERS) must us it. I know some of you are unintentional scofflaws and some of you are intentional scofflaws, but why run the risk when such a minor change can save you a lot of money and heartache?

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