Effective August 1, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This important update is part of an ongoing effort by USCIS to streamline processes and ensure clearer understanding for both employers and employees. Why is this important for businesses?
The I-9 form is essential for businesses as it’s used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire, including citizens and non-citizens.
This article will delve into those key changes and impacts of that form:
1 – Enhanced Instructions and Clarification
The new form now offers more detailed instructions aimed at reducing errors and omissions that could occur during the completion process. These comprehensive instructions will assist both employees and employers in understanding the form’s requirements more clearly, leading to more accurate and efficient verifications.
2 – Modified List of Acceptable Documents
USCIS has updated the List of Acceptable Documents used to verify an employee’s identity and employment authorization. It’s vital to review these updates to understand which documents are acceptable moving forward.
3 – Digital Friendly
USCIS has optimized the new Form I-9 for easier digital completion. This enhancement aligns with the shift towards remote work and digital documentation, allowing for easier online completion and digital storage.
4 – Revised Layout
The layout of the new form has been revised for improved clarity, making it easier for employees and employers to fill out.
As we transition to using this new Form I-9, here are some important steps businesses should consider:
- Update Your Compliance Processes: Review your current I-9 processes and ensure that they are updated to align with the changes. This may include updating your HR manuals and training materials.
- Train Your Team: Make sure your HR team is fully aware of these changes and understands how to correctly fill out the new form. This might involve facilitating formal training or workshops.
- Communicate with Employees: Inform your employees about the changes. Ensure they understand what’s required when filling out the new Form I-9.
- Document Storage: Remember, employers are required to retain Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers. Therefore, be sure your document storage and retrieval systems are up-to-date.
This transition to the new Form I-9 presents a great opportunity to review and enhance your current processes. As always, staying informed and proactive in response to such updates is the best way to maintain compliance and prevent potential legal issues.
Need More Information? Seek Legal Counsel
This blog post provides general information intended to inform and doesn’t constitute legal advice. If you’re an employer and are curious about how these changes will impact your current situation, consult with your legal counsel to gain a better understanding.
Stay tuned for more updates and information on the business legal landscape. We are here to support, inform, and guide you through all your legal matters. Contact us today to explore your legal options.