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Federal Law Alert

The new Form I-9, released November 14, must be used starting Sunday, January 22. Since its release, employers have been able to use either the new form (with a revision date of 11/14/2016) or the old form (with a revision date of 03/08/2013). Beginning on January 22, however, the old form will no longer be allowed.

A few important notes about the new form:

  • While the new I-9 is intended to be completed as a fillable PDF to reduce errors, it should not be confused with an electronic I-9. An employer must still print the completed I-9, obtain the appropriate signatures (which are not fillable via PDF), monitor verification’s, and retain the form for the proper retention period. Employers and employees may choose to complete any or all of the form by typing into the fillable PDF or using a pen to fill out sections after the document has been printed. Documents that are partly printed and partly handwritten are acceptable. If using an electronic version of the I-9, employers must still comply with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ criteria to be certain of the integrity of the electronic system.
  • Do not re-verify current employees due to the new form. Use the new I-9 only for newly hired employees and when you are required to re-verify temporary work authorization. Additionally, all previous forms must still be retained for the proper retention period. All I-9s must be retained for as long as the employee works for you, plus three years after their hire date or one year after their termination date, whichever is later.
  • Download the form from the USCIS website (uscis.gov/i-9). If it does not open correctly when you click on it, right click instead and select the “Save link as” option. This will allow you to save the PDF and open it in a PDF reader. It may open correctly once downloaded, or you may need to open Adobe Reader first, then choose the I-9 file to open.

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