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What to Know about the New Form I-9 Requirements

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Form I-9 confirms an employee's identity and authorizes them to legally work in the United States. Some new requirements are coming to the form, so let's see what HR and payroll professionals need to know.

Be Aware of New Requirements before the May 1st, 2020 Deadline.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new Form I-9. Employers will be required to use the latest version starting May 1st, 2020, as older versions will not be accepted. The new form will be available soon from the Department of Homeland Security's website. Until it's available, you can find the current version of Form I-9 here.

The I-9 form was updated in 2020 and you can click this link to visit the USCIS website to see an updated version. 

After April 30th, 2020, the USCIS says all older versions of the form will no longer be accepted. If employers fail to use the updated document, they could face penalties. 

Non-compliance Penalties

Employers need to stay on top of I-9 documentation. If they fail to accurately collect the form from their employees, they may face civil penalties. Specific information regarding penalties is under the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement section. Businesses may also be barred from accepting government contracts. Suppose employers are seen to show a pattern or practice of violations. In that case, they may be investigated by agencies such as ICE, Homeland Security, Wage & Hour Divisions, and state and federal Departments of Labor. ICE, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Labor all have jurisdictional authority to examine I-9 forms in the workplace. 

Which employees need an I-9?

All of your employees need to complete and sign Form I-9 per the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. It states that all employers need to verify new hires' employment eligibility and identity while establishing criminal and civil sanctions for violations. 

The form verifies two specific areas: an employee's identity and authorization to legally work in the United States.

The form ensures a signed identity document and verifies the records an employee provides when they're hired. Employers who choose E-Verify still need to use and keep I-9 forms in each employee's personnel file. 

There are many ways to verify an employee's information, below are some of the examples that are commonly used. 

  • A Driver's License
  • A Social Security Card
  • A Passport

New employees must complete the I-9 no later than three days after their date of hire. If the new employee does not provide the necessary paperwork, the employer must sever the employment relationship.

Most of the time, employers only need to verify identity and work authorization when hiring an employee. If an employee is rehired after a gap of three years or more, they will need to complete a new Form I-9. If a document expires, such as a work authorization form, a verification must be completed at or before the document becomes invalid. Employers need to exercise due diligence and sever an employment agreement until reauthorization is completed.

If you're looking to outsource your payroll, schedule a demo with Dominion. We offer an Onboarding system that enables new hires to fill out all their necessary paperwork before the first day of work. If this would be beneficial to your business, find out more about our offerings. 



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