President Trump continues to emphasize his goal to strictly enforce employment regulations as they pertain to undocumented workers. An increasing number of raids have been conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since the President took office in January.
With an increased focus on deporting undocumented workers, it is important for employers to understand the systems available to help them ensure that their employees are eligible to work legally in the U.S.
In a previous post, I wrote about how E-Verify works. It is equally important to understand the role of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
USCIS in July made available a revised Form I-9. Employers must begin using the revised form with a revision date of 07/17/17N on September 18, 2017. Until then, employers can use this revised version, or continue using the prior Form I-9 with a revision date of 11/14/16N, through September 17, 2017.
The I-9 is a requisite form that all employers must have completed by their new employees. It verifies the employee’s eligibility to work legally in the United States, complete with supporting documentation. The form shows that an individual can work legally in the United States (either through U.S. citizenship or legally as a citizen from another country), and provides the necessary supporting documentation, such as a passport or permanent resident card, and confirmation that the documentation was examined by the employer in person with the potential employee.
After you have inspected Form I-9 and the accompanying documentation, you must keep the document on file for at least three years from the date of hiring the employee to one year after an employee leaves your business, whichever is later. While Form I-9 is not filed with a government agency, it must be available for inspection by the U.S. departments of Homeland Security, Labor, or Justice. It makes sense to keep your I-9 forms in a central location so they can be easily accessed if a government inspection occurs.
Head to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services FAQ.