The revised version of Form I-9 has been out for almost two months and employers are required to use the new version by January 22, 2017. Below are the top 10 questions and answers we’ve received on the revised Form I-9.
When should employers start using the new Form I-9?
A) Employers can start using the new form immediately, but employers are required to start using the new form by January 22, 2017.
Are employers required to use the fillable “Smart” Form I-9 on the computer?
A) Employers are not required to complete the “Smart” Form I-9 on the computer. The form can be printed and completed by hand. However, once completed the Form I-9 must be printed and signed.
What fields/spaces are optional in Section 1 on the new Form I-9?
A) The Social Security number field is optional unless the employer participates in E-Verify. The employee does not have to enter N/A in this field.
The employee’s email address field is optional, but can’t be left blank. The employee must enter N/A in the field.
The employee’s telephone number field is optional, but can’t be left blank. The employee must enter N/A in the field.
What’s the additional information field in Section 2 used for?
A) The additional information field can be used for any information required for Form I-9 or any comments necessary for the employer’s business process. For example, extension dates for employment authorizations, E-Verify case numbers, employee termination dates and form retention dates.
How long after an employee is no longer employed should employers keep an employee’s Form I-9 ?
A) If an employee is no longer employed, the employee’s Form I-9 must be retained for 3 years after the first date of employment; OR 1 year after the termination date, whichever date is later.
See example below: - Date the employee began work: January 7, 2016 Add 3 years to that date: January 7, 2019
- Date the employee was terminated: May 21, 2017 Add 1 year to that date: May 21,2018
Which date is later?: January 7, 2019(Retain I-9 until this date)
Can employers use the Spanish version of the Form I-9?
A) Only employers in Puerto Rico are allowed to use the Spanish version of the Form I-9. U.S. employers can use the Spanish version of the Form I-9 only for translation purposes.
Can employers accept an employment authorization document that is about to expire?
A) Employers can accept an employment authorization document that is about to expire, but employer’s should create an alert to have the employee provide updated information.
Should employers keep photocopies of documents?
A) Employers are not required to make and keep photocopies of documents.
What should employers do when given a document that looks kind of “off”?
A) Employers must accept the document if it reasonably appears to be genuine on its face and relate to the person presenting it. If the document doesn’t reasonably appear to be genuine, then the employer can’t accept it and can ask for other documentation.
Is it acceptable to review a remote hire's documents via Skype or Facetime?
A) Employers may designate an authorized representative to complete Form I-9s on behalf of the company, including personnel officers, notary public, or anyone acting on behalf of the company.
The authorized representative must view the employment authorization and identity documents in person and sign Section 2. The employer is still liable for any violations or defects in connection with the form or the verification process.
Review of documents via webcam is not permitted.
If you have any questions regarding the new Form I-9, please contact our office.