The Waiting Game: Form I-9 Changes on the Horizon

By: Ken Weatherup and Danielle Duvigneaud

After previewing proposed changes to the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form, U.S. Citizen & Immigration Services (USCIS) has pushed back the anticipated rollout of the new I-9. The current form was set to expire October 31, 2022; USCIS is now directing employers to continue using the current one until further notice.

Some of the anticipated changes to the I-9 include:

  • Condensing Sections 1 and 2 to one page instead of two separate pages to reduce paper use

  • Reducing and simplifying the instructions from 15 pages to 7 pages

  • Moving Section 3 (Rehire & Reverification) to a separate section and only accessed if needed

  • List of Acceptable Documents will include a link to List C documents on the USCIS website

  • Form will be compatible with all electronic devices, reducing software issues

Also, citing ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, DHS and ICE announced an extension of the flexibility in remote inspection of identity and employment eligibility documents (Section 2 of the I-9) until July 31, 2023.

Now Is The Time To Check In:

While we’re waiting on the new form and instructions from USCIS, now’s a great time to review how you manage your company’s I-9s:

  • Is the way you actually handle I-9s the way you say you’re handling I-9s in your written Immigration Law Compliance policy? Umm…you DO have a written policy, right? Oh, good! (whew!)

  • Are you providing periodic training on eligibility document verification for all hiring managers (and e-Verification training, if that applies to you)?

  • Do you have extra company money to throw around to cover penalties for I-9 violations? Recently, HR NOLA saved a local company more than $90,000 in fines when we conducted an I-9 audit!

In all seriousness, ranging between $252 to $2,507 per violation for first offenses, all the way to more than $25,000 for subsequent offenses, penalties for I-9 violations can have a major impact on your company’s bottom line. And they’re easily avoidable…when you take the time to review your practices and make sure you’re in compliance with USCIS laws and regulations.

Thankfully, Help is just a call or email away! HR NOLA provides Audit services that can identify your I-9 compliance challenges and help you on the road to compliance. Give us a call so you can start your new year with peace of mind – at least about your I-9s!

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