Form I9 Update

HR Resource
January 15, 2013 — 2,950 views  
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) might release its updated version of Form I9, this fall. The updated form will most likely be eighty percent larger than before and will increase from five-page to nine-page document. It will also include many changes when compared to the previous version. Though some of the changes proposed aim to enhance employee verification process, most of the alterations can actually make the process difficult. However, some of the changes proposed for the new form are controversial.

If people fail to meet compliance with the form, it can lead to fines and audits. It is important that the employers comprehend the changes proposed. They should also be prepared to provide the required information and update the training materials on a regular basis. It is also important to observe if the employers are in compliance with the regulations.

Positive Changes to the Form  

Most of the updates proposed will offer clarification on previously confusing areas. These modifications aim to assist new hires and employers to offer the needed information. The updated form has been extended to two pages. Along with this, new field has been added on page 2, asking for the name of the employee. There has also been a lot of improvement in the way the headlines are formed. The fields where List C and List B should be added are also specified.

Perjury language in the form has been enumerated and repositioned for readability and clarification so that there is no confusion. New language will help the employers understand documents acceptable for the non-immigrants.

Negative Changes to the Form

Though some of the alterations proposed for the form I9 are good, the document also creates and leaves certain gray areas. Without any kind of clarification about the instruction, it is quite confusing to interpret the form. These modifications offer new opportunities for errors and place employers at higher risk of getting fines and audits. For instance, the field regarding Social Security Number includes nine slots for every digit, not giving enough space for employees to change the information, when entered incorrectly.

The new form I9 will ask the employees to fill in their first day for easy payment. This field might raise many concerns since the employee may not begin on the mentioned date. This might be unknown during the time of hiring. This can create a lot of confusion. The re-verification and updating section is renamed as Rehires and re-verification. This can cause confusion about which section to use while updating employees’ names.

Larger Concern Areas on the Form

Though avoiding errors is very important for employers as they want to avoid hefty fines that accompany audits, there are several other areas in the form, which cause greater concern regarding privacy processes and issues. This new proposed document has fields for an employee’s email address and phone number. However, such fields are not compulsory. Most people feel that the DHS shouldn’t have this information. This is mainly because it can be used for contacting individuals directly. This can cause employer violations, which is not ethical.

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