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Revised I-9 Form to be Required as of December 26

Employers will be required to use the revised Employment Eligibility Verification form as of December 26. The form, which is available from U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (UCIS), must be used for all employees hired on or after December 26. Employers are not required to re-verify existing employees for whom they have already completed an I-9.

The revised I-9 seeks to achieve full compliance with the document reduction requirements of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), which reduced the number of documents employers may accept from newly hired employees during the employment eligibility verification process. As such, the new I-9 form removes five documents that new employees can use as proof of identity and eligibility for employment including a certificate of U.S. citizenship, certificate of naturalization, alien registration receipt card, unexpired reentry permit and unexpired refugee travel document. However, an unexpired employment authorization document (I-766) was added to List A of the List of Acceptable Documents.

Moreover, employees are no longer required to provide their social security number in Section 1 unless their employer participates in E-Verify. E-Verify is a free Internet-based system operated by UCIS in partnership with the Social Security Administration. The system provides an automated link to federal databases to help employers determine employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security numbers.

All employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee hired in the United States. The new revisions also allow for employers to sign and retain Forms I-9 electronically. Lastly, while a Spanish version of the I-9 is available, only employers and employees in Puerto Rico may fill it out. Spanish-speaking employers and employees in the 50 states and other U.S. territories may use the form for reference, but may only complete the form in English to meet employment eligibility verification requirements.

The new revised I-9 is designed as a way to make sure businesses only hire documented workers, and continues the government's efforts to stop illegal immigration.

Furthermore, a new house resolution, H.R. 4088, would make the consequences for a business caught with an undocumented worker for the first time to be a fine between $2,500 and $5,000. The second offense would raise the fine to between $7,500 and $10,000, and the third offense would result in a fine between $25,000 and $40,000.

CLICK HERE to download the form and UCIS handbook.

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