USCIS Releases Revised Form I-9 – What does this mean? : Immigration Law Firm Near Me
USCIS Releases Revised Form I-9 – What does this mean?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has done a number of changes on how it carries out its operations and one of them is the release of the revised Form I-9. The updated form was released on the 17th day of July and employers were given the option of either using the updated form or the older version of the form dating November 14th, 2016. This option, however, is expected to expire on the 18th of September 2017 from when the updated version of the form will be the only one that is admissible.
Form I-9 is a very critical from in the immigration department, particularly for the applicant employers. The Federal Laws require that employers only hire individuals who can work in the United States legally. This means that they have to be citizens of the United States or if the employee is a foreigner, they have to get the necessary authorization. Therefore, in compliance with the law, every employer is required to verify the identity of the employee and whether they have the necessary authorization by having the Form I-9 completed and retained.
Runrex.com notes that the storage and retention rules that existed before have not changed. The subtle changes that the updated form contains are in the instructions and the acceptable documents. The goals set here were to make navigation of the form much easier and the understanding of the instructions much better. It is easy to note the rewording of the form, the renumbering of all List C documents and the streamlining of the certification process of some foreign nationals.
The revisions made on the form, particularly the List C update, reflect the latest versions of U.S State Department issued report of birth or certification. When completing the form online, employers now have the option of selecting the Consular Report of Birth Abroad Form FS-240 that is issued to certain employees who are born overseas but to a United States citizen parent. Those who will use the E-verify will be able to easily select Form FS-240 in order for them to form a case for an employee who has presented their document or employment eligibility verification. The update and inclusion of the form FS-240 into the online application form is a great addition as those people who were previously told that the form is not acceptable will now have an assurance that it is. Section C#2 is where Forms FS-545, Form FS-240 and Form-1350 will be compiled. These are all the State department issued birth certificates.
Another modification is in the instructions on the form and the deletion of the phrase “the end of” in reference to completing section 1. The main reason why this change was made was to ensure consistency with the set rules that require section 1 to be completed when the employee is being hired. This means that employees have to go back to their own policies and make the necessary adjustments that will ensure compliance with the new rules set. The Office of Special Council for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices for the Department of Justice, also, changed their name to the new Immigrant and Employee Rights Section. This is another notable change that is quite visible in the new update of Form I-9.
Other changes that make the filling of the forms much easier include additional prompts to make sure that information is entered correctly, the addition of multiple translators and preparers, a dedicated area for additional information unlike the margins in the previous version and a supplemental page meant for the translator or preparer. The latest updates on the Form I-9 are not that big, but they are a great step towards creating modern tools to make the application process smoother and more efficient.
Transition from the Old Form I-9 to the updated From I-9
As stated earlier, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services indicated that between the time the update was released up to the 17th of September, employers have the option of either using the previous form or the updated version of the same. The full use of the updated version of the form will take effect on the 18th of September meaning that the old version will be scrapped off completely. But it would also make sense to scrap off the previous versions completely if the USCIS wished to do so.
It is important for employers to be conversant and compliant with the latest updates on the form. The fact that the changes in the form are quite minimal does not mean that they can be ignored. Failure to comply with the updates can result in the employer being fined. In fact, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced an increase in the fines for any violations on Form I-9. As such, employers should be conversant with the forms regardless of how small the changes are to avoid the fines. Employers who opt to fill out the form on paper are particularly to be careful.