Late last year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services finally published a revised Form I-9. This new form must be used for all hires as of yesterday, January 22, 2017.
The revised form has “smart” features. An employer can download and complete the form on a computer. Drop-down calendars, click-on instructions, auto-population and promts, and automatic notice of possible errors are intended to help employers eliminate errors … and penalties. An employer is still required to print out the Form I-9 and maintain the executed document.
The revised form also has a few substantive changes. Section 1 asks for "Other Last Names Used," rather than "Other Names Used." Additionally, foreign nationals authorized to work in the U.S. are required to enter either the Form I-94 Admission Number or the foreign passport number instead of both. Multiple translators or preparers can now be listed.
One of the changes an employer may not notice is the automatic generation of a QR code. This is probably a feature to assist ICE in its audits.
If the revised form is still confusing to you, the government has provided employers with 15 pages of instructions. You will want to get it correct! The penalties for violations were also enhanced last year. The minimum penalty for a Form I-9 violation increased from $110 to $216. The maximum penalty for a Form I-9 violation increased from $1,100 to $2,156, per individual.