Federal law requires all U.S. employers to ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. Both employees and employers must complete their respective sections of the form.
On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present acceptable documents to the employer evidencing his or her identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity documents presented by the employee to determine 1) whether the documents reasonably appear to be genuine, and 2) that they relate to the employee presenting them. Finally, the employer must record the information regarding the documents in Section 2 of Form I-9.
Which I-9 Form should I use?
USCIS released the most recent Form I-9 on July 17, 2017. At this time, employers can use the July 17, 2017 version or continue to use the previous version released on November 14, 2016. If employers choose to continue to use the November 14, 2016 version, this version can only be used through September 17, 2017. Employers must switch to using the July 17, 2017 version on September 18, 2017. The current version is available on the USCIS website: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9. Completing the form by using the fillable PDF version can be helpful as it has several autofill responses and drop down menus that simplify the process.
Be aware of the Form I-9 glitch!
Employers should be aware there was a glitch in I-9 forms downloaded between November 14, 2016 and November 17, 2016. The glitch caused employees’ social security numbers to be transposed. All employers that downloaded I-9 forms during this time period should check to ensure each employee’s social security number is correct on the form. If an employee’s social security number is incorrect on the form, the employee should draw a line through the incorrect social security number, enter the correct social security number, and initial and date the change. Employers must include a written explanation with the I-9 form explaining the correction.
This glitch was repaired, however, employers will ensure they are using a form without the glitch by downloading the newest Form I-9 from the USCIS website.
For assistance with completion of Form I-9, questions about retention, or help with internal or external I-9 audits, please contact one of the employment attorneys at Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston, Ltd.