Managers: Start Using the New I-9 for New Employees Friday April 3, 2009

© Serghei Starus | Dreamstime.comNew employees must complete the new I-9 form (Employment Eligibility Verification) beginning Friday, April 3, 2009.   Here is the link for the new form: New I-9 Form

Managers, you do not need to to use the new form for employees whose hire date is prior to April 3.

What is the purpose of the I-9?  The form states that it “is to document that each new employee (both citizen and non-citizen) hired after November 6, 1986, is authorized to work in the United States.”

Reading the instructions, I was surprised to learn that providing the Social Security Number is voluntary, unless you choose to complete the I-9 electronically via E-Verify.  This is interesting since protecting the employee’s social security number has taken on even more importance with the enactment of the Reg Flags Rule, which is in effect May 1, 2009.

To order USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) forms, you can download them here or call them at 1-800-870-3676.

And, under the heading of Things I Didn’t Know About the I-9 Form, we learn that:

  • Employers may, but are not required to, photocopy the document(s) presented (drivers’ license, passport, etc.)
  • E-Verify is a program that allows electronic verification of the employment eligibility of newly hired employees.  E-Verify can be  obtained here or by calling 1-888-464-4218.  Remember that you do need to provide the social security number if using this program.
  • Employers must retain completed Form I-9s for three years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later.
  • Form I-9 may be signed and retained electronically, as authorized in Department of Homeland Security regulations at 8 CFR 274a.2.C.
  • Employers CANNOT specify which document(s) they will accept.
  • The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated at 12 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions and
    completing and submitting the form.

If anyone is timing the completion of this form, be sure and leave a comment and tell me if it really does take 12 minutes to complete!