On January 31, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Employers – including families who have hired someone to work in their home – must use Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of each individual they hire, including citizens and non-citizens, for employment in the United States.
This new version contains minor changes to the form and its instructions. Employers can start using this updated form immediately.
You may continue using the prior version of the form until April 30, 2020. After that date, you should only use the new form with the 10/21/2019 version date (that’s the date the form was approved by the Office of Management and Budget). The version date is in the lower-left corner of the form.
You do not need to complete the new Form I-9 for current employees who already have a properly completed Form I-9 on file unless you need to reverify your employee’s employment authorization and/or employment authorization documentation that may have expired.
USCIS made the following changes to the form and its instructions:
- Revised the Country of Issuance field in Section 1 and the Issuing Authority field (when selecting a foreign passport) in Section 2 to add Eswatini and Macedonia, North per those countries’ recent name changes. (Note: This change is only visible when completing the fillable Form I-9 on a computer.)
- Clarified who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer
- Updated USCIS website addresses
- Provided clarifications on acceptable documents for Form I-9
- Updated the process for requesting paper Forms I-9
- Updated the DHS Privacy Notice
A revised Spanish version of Form I-9 with a version date of 10/21/2019 is available for use in Puerto Rico only.
About Form I-9
On Form I-9, your employee must attest to their employment authorization. Your employee must also present acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. You must examine the employment eligibility and identity documents your employee presents to determine whether the documents reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to your employee. You’ll record the document information on the Form I-9. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form.
You don’t need to file Form I-9 with USCIS or U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
However, you must:
- Have a completed Form I-9 on file for each person on your payroll who is required to complete the form;
- Retain and store Forms I-9 for three years after the date of hire, or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later; and
- Make your employee’s forms available for inspection if requested by authorized U.S. government officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or Department of Justice.
If you don’t properly complete and retain Form I-9, you may subject to civil penalties, and, in some cases, criminal penalties.
Form I-9 audits have significantly increased and failing to comply with federal requirements can result in thousands of dollars in fines.
A first-time offense for knowingly hiring and continuing to employ unauthorized workers will cost you at least $538 and up to $4,133. Subsequent violations can cost you as much as $21,563.
Something as simple as failing to confirm an employee dated their Form I-9, for example, can result in a penalty of up to $2,156.
GTM can help
We can help guide you through Form I-9 and all of the other nuances associated with household employment. There are plenty of ways to get tripped up and we’ll help you remain compliant and legal. Let us manage your nanny taxes and payroll and forget about the risks, worries, and hassles of doing it yourself. Call (800) 929-9213 for a free, no-obligation consultation with a household employment expert.
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