As of May 1, 2020, all employers must use the new I-9 form to verify employment in the United States.
I-9 forms are to be filled out by employers for any and all employees for identification and authorization of employment status. Both the employer and employee are required to fill out the form I-9.
Some changes have occurred in the new form in comparison to the last version of the form. In section one, the country issuance has been revised. The issuing authority field has changed in section two. This section has also cleared up who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of the employer. A list of acceptable documents has been clarified on the last page of the form. The new form I-9 also includes an updated request for a physical copy of the I-9 form. The USCIS website has also been updated on the new form. Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security privacy notice has been revised.
If you are an employer amid these unprecedented times, make sure you are taking advantage of the flexible options provided by the Department of Homeland Security. Moreover, make yourself aware of what needs to occur once normal operations commence. Employees who were hired using remote verification documents must be present within three business days to authenticate in-person employment status. The employer should then mark the documents as physically examined and the date on which this occurred in the “additional information” part of section two or section three as appropriate.
Along with the form I-9, other essential documents should be attached to verify identity and employment authorization. These include one document such as a passport, resident card, or an employment authorization document that contains a photograph. If one document that satisfies both eligibility and identity cannot be provided, then the employee should provide one of each. Documents that verify identity include a driver’s license, voter registration card, or school ID. Information that confirms employment eligibility consists of a social security number, birth certificate, or an employment authorization document by Homeland Security. The full list of acceptable documents is on the last page of the I-9 form. If an employee presents the employer with an expired acceptable document that has not been extended by the issuing authority, the employer should fill in the information and write “COVID-19” in the “additional information” field. If the employee gives the employer an expired acceptable document that has been extended by the issuing authority, enter the documents expiration date in section 2 and write “COVID-19 EXT” in the “additional information” field.
For more information about the new form I-9 and about the COVID-19 modifications for the I-9 form, visit I-9 Central on the USCIS website. Contact your Abacus Payroll specialist for specific guidance.