Paperwork for new staff is nothing new to most of us, but there's a new form you should be aware of. We’re all familiar with the Form I-9 we’re required to complete for newly hired employees. That form regularly gets updated by the US Customs and Immigration Department (USCIS), which has just released their newest version. This new I-9 form is considerably different from the one we’ve been using; it is two pages long (not counting the list of acceptable documents) and includes extensive instructions that will hopefully clarify the requirements as you make your best effort to comply.
The new form is available for download now at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf. Note that while the form is ready now, you have until May 7th to start using it. After that, forms with an expiration date prior to May 7th will no longer be valid, so be sure you discard any old, blank forms. Good news is, you do not need to re-do the forms you already have completed; just start using the new form for hires and re-verifications going forward.
Also be aware that the fines for not completing an I-9, or for mistakes on the forms you do have, carry stiff penalties. So it’s worth taking some time to be sure yours are complete and correct. The much more detailed instructions that accompany the new form can help you with that. Or, if you are interested in having one of 501 Commons’ skilled HR experts audit your I-9s (or do a complete HR compliance audit), please go to our website for more information or complete a Request for Assistance. We can check your forms and recommend corrections that will increase the likelihood of avoiding fines should you be faced with a USCIS audit.