Form I-9 For Small Business

Employers Have Until January 22, 2017 To Adopt New Form I-9

Employers: You have a new Form I-9, and you have until January 22nd, 2017 to begin using it.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new Form I-9, the Employment Eligibility Verification Form. Failure to adopt the new form by the deadline could result in hefty fines and penalties for any employer the agency catches.

Under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), employers must verify employee identity and ensure that employees are legally entitled to work in the United States. The new form form is the required method for documenting that you have completed this process for all new hires.

The new form contains a number of improvements over the old one. The electronic version, available by downloading the latest version of Adobe Reader, features drop-down lists and allow users to point-click on calendar displays rather than manually enter dates. The new form also features prompts and checks to help ensure data is entered correctly, on-screen instructions for each field, and streamlined access to the full instructions for the form.

Helpfully, officials designing the new form I-9 also included an option to quickly erase all fields and start the form over.

Additional changes in the new form include a section to indicate whether you used a preparer or translator, as well as spaces to enter translators and multiple preparers. Preparer/translators also have a supplemental page.

The new form also contains a field for additional information, including E-Verify confirmation numbers, correction notes and dates of termination of employment.

The full instructions are separated from the form, though easily accessible via the Adobe platform.

Once the I-9 form is completed electronically, the system will generate a QR code.

In recent years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have been conducting more than 3,000 I-9 employer audits every year. Furthermore, most observers expect enforcement efforts to increase under the pending administration of President-Elect Donald Trump, who campaigned in part on a more hawkish approach to immigration enforcement.

New Form I-9 – Process For Small Business Owners

  • While the form itself has changed, the process remains the same:
    The employee accepts the employment offer, and must complete Section 1 of the I-9 Form not later than the first day of work for pay. The employee must provide the form with Section 1 complete, along with identification and required documents to the employer.
  • From there, the employer must complete Section 2 of the form not later than the 3rdbusiness day the employee begins work for pay.
  • If the employee’s work visa or other authorization expires, employers must then complete Section 3 of the I-9 form.

Business Owners Face Penalties for Non-Compliance

Penalties for substantive violations, which includes failing to produce a Form I-9, range from $110 to $1,100 per violation, according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. In determining penalty amounts, ICE considers five factors: the size of the business, good faith effort to comply, seriousness of violation, whether the violation involved unauthorized workers, and history of previous violations.

Assure Your Business Is in Compliance With The New Form I-9

HR staffs and hiring managers should download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader to ensure you can download and enjoy all the functionality of the new I-9 form. Once that’s done, you can then download and use Form I-9.

Note: You don’t have to file Form I-9s with anyone. Simply ensure that you have a completed Form I-9 on file for every individual on your payroll who is required to complete Part 1 of the form. Retain the form for at least three years from the date of hire, or for one year after the employee is terminated, whichever is later.

You must make the forms available for inspection by any authorized representatives of the Department of Justice, Department of Labor or Department of Homeland Security.

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