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Form I-9 Updates

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On April 19, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin issuing redesigned Permanent Resident Cards (i.e. green cards) and Employment Authorization Documents (EAD cards) on May 1st. The redesigned cards will feature the individual’s photo on both sides of the card, no longer display the person’s signature, and the permanent resident card will no longer have an optical stripe on the back enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features. Both cards will also omit the holder’s signature.

Employers should note that both the redesigned cards and the previously-issued cards can be used for Form I-9 purposes through their respective expiration dates. Therefore, it is important to examine the differences of each and familiarize yourself with them. This will ensure that you are not wrongfully rejecting a valid document in the future.

USCIS also announced this week that the updated Form I-9, released on November 14, 2016, contained a software error in the social security number section. For forms downloaded between November 14th and 17th that were completed on a computer, the social security numbers could appear transposed on the form. Employers should review any Forms I-9 completed during this window (or with a form downloaded during this window) to verify that the employee’s social security number appears correct. If the digits were transposed, you should have your employee draw a line through the incorrect number and enter the correct number underneath the section. Then, the employee should initial and date the change. In addition, you should include a written explanation with the Form I-9 regarding the reason for the correction.

We have seen that I-9 Audits are on the rise and employers should take action now to ensure properly completed forms are on file. Non-compliant companies can expect hefty fines due to the August 1, 2016 U.S. Department of Justice fee increase, which was previously discussed in our August 23, 2016 bLAWg post.

If you are contacted by the Immigration Service seeking to review your I-9s, call us! GoffWilson offers I-9 training in public and private settings several times throughout the year. Contact our office today and put your mind at ease and to sign up for our next session. It’s what we do.
Filed under:Form I-9 Compliance, Immigration Law