NEW FORM I-9 and HANDBOOK RELEASED
USCIS has released a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, as well as the M-274, Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9. The form and handbook are available on the USCIS website: www.uscis.gov.
While the content of the form has not changed, the list of acceptable documents has been updated to reflect certain documents which can no longer be accepted and certain documents which can now be accepted. While USCIS originally indicated the new form must be used after December 7, 2007, they subsequently indicated that they would allow an additional 30 day grace period for use of the old form, beginning on the date formal notice was published in the Federal Register.
Such publication in the Federal Register occurred on November 26, 2007 and indicated a deadline of December 26, 2007 for using the old form.
Please note that all reverifications must also be completed on the new form.
One of the things we are learning from the present impasse in Congress on immigration legislation is that the government is likely to be more severe in enforcing compliance with the rules of maintaining every employee’s (U.S citizens as well as foreign nationals) employment eligibility verification (Form I-9 documentation).
Many employers are now concerned that their compliance with the law with respect to maintenance of I-9 verification of their employees’ right to work may be inadequate and result in high fines or other serious enforcement action. This is partly based on the fact that the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has recently begun a program of many large scale enforcement actions which has frightened many employers into looking into their immigration compliance. Employers would be well advised to review their records at this time.
We stand ready to educate your staff on I-9 compliance procedures and conduct in-house training/audits of your forms, as needed.
Any inquiries regarding Form I-9 and employer compliance issues in general should be directed to partner
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