All Businesses Must Implement New Employment Verification Form I-9
By Allen Orr, Orr Immigration Law Firm
Washington, DC (March 15, 2013) -- The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced the new Form I-9, (Rev. 03/08/13) on March 8. Employers should begin using the new form immediately for all new hires, re-hires and reverification. Using prior versions of the Form I-9 after May 7, 2013, will cause the employer to be subject to fines. Employers must use the Form I-9 to verify an employee's work authorization in the US. The new form can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.
The new Form I-9 is a two-page document with seven pages of instructions. The flow and content of the form are similar to the previous version; however, the layout is revised to provide additional space and clarity to the preparer. The new version also has added data fields for an email address, phone number and foreign passport. The email address and phone number fields are optional, and have been added to assist the government in contacting individuals during an investigation.
USCIS has also revised the Handbook for Employers, Form M-274, http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/m-274.pdf and the I-9 Central website, www.uscis.gov/I-9Central, to complement the instructions and format of the new Form I-9. In addition there will be several free webinars hosted by USCIS covering completion and implementation of the new form. The dates and times of the webinars are located on the I-9 Central portal.
Employers should use the implementation of the new form as an opportunity to ensure that company policies and procedures are current and compliant. Best practices include a written policy regarding Form I-9 rules and procedures, yearly audits and training, and appointing and I-9 czar for your company.
I-9 inspections by the government are at an all-time high. Neglecting to fill out I-9 forms or filling out I-9 forms incorrectly can result in fines of up to $1,100 for every incorrect form.
Allen Orr is the founder of Orr Immigration Law Firm PC, a minority-owned firm based in Washington, DC, and focusing on US corporate compliance as well as global representation and assistance on immigration issues. Mr. Orr previously helped to build one of the leading immigration practices at a global law firm, where he developed a network of immigration practitioners, government officials and business leaders. Mr. Orr received a BA in Philosophy from Morehouse College and a JD from Howard University's School of Law. He is an active member of the DC, Virginia, American and National Bar Associations. For more details, visit www.orrimmigration.com
Allen Orr, Orr Immigration Law Firm
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