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My Company Currently Keeps Copies Of Documentation Presented By My Employees For Form I-9. Can We Stop Doing This?

Form I-9 regulations allow employers to choose whether to keep copies of documents employees submit to complete their Form I-9. Therefore, you may choose to begin or end the practice of keeping copies of documents at any time, as long as you do so for all employees, regardless of national origin or citizenship status, or you may be in violation of anti-discrimination laws.

 

Do not shred previously retained copies of documents. DHS regulations state that once you make copies of documents, you must retain them with the Forms I-9 or store them with the employee's records.

 

Additionally, if you use an alternative procedure to remotely examine documents, you must retain copies of the front and back (if two-sided) of the documentation the employee presents to verify their identify and work authorization. AND Employers that particpate in E-Verify, who physically examine documents presented, must make and retain copies of documentation presented by employees for List A of the Form I–9.

Learn more about our in-person Form I-9 verification and how we can support your business.  

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How Can I Make Sure I Am Using The Current Version of The Form I9? 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an updated Form I-9 (OMB No.1615-0047 Expires 07/31/2026) that must be used for all new hires and reverifications. View the date printed at the top right of each page to make sure you are using the correct version. You must be utilizing this new form. The process of completing Form I-9 itself remains unchanged.

Learn more about our in-person Form I-9 verification and how we can support your business.  

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Do I Need To Submit An I-9 Update For A Name Change?

No. You are not required to update Form I-9 when your employee has a legal name change. However, it is recommended that you maintain correct information on Forms I-9 and note any name changes in Supplement B.

Learn more about our in-person Form I-9 verification and how we can support your business.  

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My Office Is Located In Texas, And I Am Hiring An Employee Who Will Work Remotely In Virginia. Can I Contract (OutSource) With An Authorized Representative To Complete Their Form I-9?H

My office is located in Texas, and I am hiring an employee who will work remotely in Virginia. Can I contract with an Authorized Representative to complete their Form I-9?

YES! If you have a new hire "sitting" in another state from your office or headquarters (a remote employee) where HR can not be physically present to complete the Form I-9, you can designate an Authorized Representative to meet with the employee, physically inspect their employment eligibility documents (examples: drivers license, passport, social security card, birth certificate) and complete Section 2, of the Form I-9 on your behalf.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) explains the duties of an Authorized Representative in its Handbook for Employers.https://https://lnkd.in/e3JZffdp

You can even designate an Authorized Representative even if "you" are both situated in the same State! There is no rule HR must complete the Form I9. However, you will want to enlist a professional!

Learn more about our in-person Form I-9 verification and how we can support 

your business.

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When Can An Employee Present A Receipt For Documents In Lieu Of An Actual Document From The List of Acceptable Documents?

The "receipt rule” covers situations in which employees are authorized to work at the time of initial hire or reverification, but they are not in possession of a document from the list of acceptable documents accompanying Form I-9.

Receipts showing that a person applied for an initial grant of an employment authorization document (EAD) or for renewal of an EAD is not acceptable.

An individual may present a receipt in lieu of a document listed on Form I-9 to complete Section 2 or Section 3 of the form. The receipt is valid for a temporary period. There are three scenarios where receipts qualify under the rule:

  • A receipt for a replacement document when the document has been lost, stolen, or damaged. The receipt is valid for 90 days, after which the individual must present the replacement document to complete Form I-9.

  • A Form I-94/I-94A containing a temporary I-551 stamp and a photograph of the individual, which is considered a receipt for the Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551). The individual must present Form I-551 by the expiration date of the temporary I-551 stamp or within one year from the date of issuance of Form I-94/I-94A if the I-551 stamp does not contain an expiration date.

  • A Form I-94/I-94A containing an unexpired refugee admission stamp. This is considered a receipt for either an EAD (Form I-766) or a combination of an unrestricted Social Security card and List B document. The employee must present either option to complete Form I-9 within 90 days after the date of hire, or in the case of reverification, the date their employment authorization expires.

I2I Hires offers in-person employment eligibility verifications (completion of Section II of the Form I-9) for small business in Northern Virginia. 

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Does Having A Government Security Clearance Exempt Me From Completing A Form I-9?

E-Verify participation is mandatory for all federal contractors and subcontractors. Voluntary participation remains for employers who do not fall under this business classification, however state laws prevail. 

 

Whether your company is required to participate in E-Verify or not, all employees, regardless of government security clearance, are required to complete a Form I-9. The Form I-9 originates from The Immigration Reform and Control Act, enacted in 1986, and requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees.

 

With the government's focus on curbing illegal immigration, a nationwide civil enforcement increase is expected. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is working with the U.S. Department of Labor and other Law Enforcement Agencies to bring criminal action against violators, past and present. These efforts are making it much more important for employers to comply.

 

The failure to correctly complete, retain, and document a Form I-9, and request specific verification documents, can result in serious fines and loss of federal government contractor status. On January 6, 2022, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)1 issued a precedential decision in United States v.R&SL, Inc., finding the company liable for more than 1,400 Form I-9 violations and assessing a penalty in excess of $1.5 million. Some examples include:

 

Judge Passes $1.5 million fine for I-9 Violations

 

  • The new hire did not sign in Section 1 attesting that they were authorized to legally work in the United States

  • There were no document entries in Section 2 or any entries for documents that were invalid

  • There were missing or partial document numbers or expiration dates in Section 2 for the documents that were presented

  • The compliant signature for the representative of the employer was not present

 

This case demonstrates exactly why it is so important to properly complete and retain Form I-9s. It is easy to make costly mistakes because of a lack of understanding. The best way to avoid is to work with an experienced Authorized Representative. An Authorized Representative verifies Section II of the I9, on your behalf if you can't be physically at the location where the new hire is situated. 

I2I Hires offers in-person employment eligibility verifications (completion of Section II of the Form I-9) for small business in Northern Virginia. 

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What Is An Authorized Representative For Form I-9? 

The use of Form I-9 is to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All employers must complete and retain the Form I-9 for every hire.

 

Completion of the Form I-9 has two central parts. Section I is completed by the employee (or with the assistance of a preparer or translator) where he/she/they attests that they are aware that federal law provides for imprisonment and/or fines for false statements, or the use of false documents, in connection with the completion of the Form I-9. Under penalty of perjury, the information, including the selection of the box attesting to citizenship or immigration status, is true and correct. To ensure anti-discrimination, employees are to complete the Form no later than the first day of work (work for pay) and can be completed after accepting the job offer, before beginning work for wages. Employees then choose which acceptable documentation to present.

 

Section II requires the employer or an Authorized Representative to examine the documents and complete and sign the Form by the third day of employment. For example, if an employee begins employment (work for pay) on a Monday, the employer or Authorized Representative must complete Section II, by Thursday of that week.

 

The duties of the Authorized Representative can be any person you designate, hire, or contract with to complete, update, or make corrections to Section 2 (or 3) on your behalf. An Authorized Representative can be any member of the general public personnel officer, foreman, agent, or notary public where permissible. Your Authorized Representative must perform all your duties, including reviewing the employee’s completed Section 1, either physically or remotely (virtual limitations and considerations do apply). Hiring or contracting an experienced outsourced Authorized Representative, to physically examine the documents and complete and sign the Form acts as an added layer of security. An experienced Authorized Representative is an impartial and independent resource and serves to benefit your business. 

I2I Hires offers small business in Northern Virginia with in-person Form I-9 employment eligibility verifications. 

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