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Valuable Resources is a boutique of innovative professionals focused in 3 C’s:

  • Change Management
  • Culture Transformation
  • Compliance Education

Regardless if you’re a Trump supporter or otherwise, despite the talk we’ve been hearing to “Make America Great Again” and the unrealistic promise to build “an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border” of the United States, realistically we know that people with diverse backgrounds will continue to come into this country. Further, they will be hired as employees. With this as our reality, employers must continue to comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, verifying employment eligibility by properly and timely by completing an I-9 for each and every employee.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is an component of Homeland Security. The USCIS manage all administrative functions of processing applications, and petitions. For example, immigrant visa petitions, naturalization petitions, asylum applications, and refugee applications. In addition, the USCIS also makes adjudicative decisions performed at the service centers, and manages all other immigration benefits functions but they DO NOT have any duty for immigration enforcement. http://www.USCIS.gov

On the other hand, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is also a component of the Department of Homeland Security is the division that enforces the laws related to the I-9 form.

As of recently, ICE has intensified their review of the current processes. The requirements need to comply with the process of the electronic software and electronic systems that are used by employers for employees to complete the I-9 form electronically. In recent audits from ICE, at employer sites, assessed penalties based on the interpretation of the applicable regulations that the current electronic systems deem to violate the requirements of that require employers to verify and prove the electronic I-9 form was actually “signed” by the employee.

As a result, ICE has made some changes to their requirements for electronic systems. In addition, the USCIS has changed the requirements of the I-9 format.

We have outlined specific changes of the new requirements for both the completion and retention of the I-9 form and the completion of electronic signatures.

These changes are initially intended to simplify the process of completing this form however; this may not be reality. We want to prepare you for what you need to do to be compliant. These small changes, can amount to large fines. For example, fines from audits have ranged from $216 to $2156.00 per each I-9 violation. We’re here to help you avoid that from happening.

Some tips on how the hardcopy and the electronic version differ:
Form I-9 Regardless if you’re a Trump supporter or otherwise, despite the talk we’ve been hearing to “Make America Great Again” and the unrealistic promise to build “an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border” of the United States, realistically we know that people with diverse backgrounds will continue to come into this country. Further, they will be hired as employees. With this as our reality, employers must continue to comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, verifying employment eligibility by properly and timely by completing an I-9 for each and every employee.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is an component of Homeland Security. The USCIS manage all administrative functions of processing applications, and petitions. For example, immigrant visa petitions, naturalization petitions, asylum applications, and refugee applications. In addition, the USCIS also makes adjudicative decisions performed at the service centers, and manages all other immigration benefits functions but they DO NOT have any duty for immigration enforcement. http://www.USCIS.gov

On the other hand, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is also a component of the Department of Homeland Security is the division that enforces the laws related to the I-9 form.

As of recently, ICE has intensified their review of the current processes. The requirements need to comply with the process of the electronic software and electronic systems that are used by employers for employees to complete the I-9 form electronically. In recent audits from ICE, at employer sites, assessed penalties based on the interpretation of the applicable regulations that the current electronic systems deem to violate the requirements of that require employers to verify and prove the electronic I-9 form was actually “signed” by the employee.

As a result, ICE has made some changes to their requirements for electronic systems. In addition, the USCIS has changed the requirements of the I-9 format.

We have outlined specific changes of the new requirements for both the completion and retention of the I-9 form and the completion of electronic signatures.

These changes are initially intended to simplify the process of completing this form however; this may not be reality. We want to prepare you for what you need to do to be compliant. These small changes, can amount to large fines. For example, fines from audits have ranged from $216 to $2156.00 per each I-9 violation. We’re here to help you avoid that from happening. An overview of the changes made:

Electronic Version of Form I-9

For instance, employers and employees leaving blank items that must be completed. For example, when completed electronically, the revised Form I-9 detects information that is not entered correctly or is incomplete.
The English version of the electronic form also provides helpful drop-down lists, details about the requested information, and calendars to facilitate accurate completion.
Back to paragraph 4 above, the current electronic systems do not offer a way for the employee to sign the I-9 form, so how do they sign it? We asked the same question. We found the answer on the Department of Homeland Security website.

“Employers who wish to implement an electronic Form I-9 with an electronic signature function may re-create a Form I-9 that includes such a function, as long as the resulting form is legible; there is no change to the name, content, or sequence of the data elements and instructions; no additional data elements or language are inserted; and the standards specified under 8 CFR 274a.2(e) through (i), as applicable, are met. The system used to generate and store the electronic Form I-9 also must comply with regulations found at 8 CFR 274a.2 (e)-(i).” Click here to read more How can I add an electronic signature field to Form I-9?

Instructions for Form I-9

  • FYI – The instructions for the revised form went from seven pages to a ballooned 15 pages. Key things to remember:
  • First and foremost this has not changed, unfortunately too many employers do it. Employers are not allowed to tell employees which documents to use. If you do this, please STOP.
  • The instructions are now encompassed in a separate document
  • Employers using paper versions of the Form I-9 are now required to make these instructions available, either in paper format or electronically, during the completion of the form.
  • “Preparer and/or Translator Certification” is now a supplement to the I-9, on a separate third page. For employers using paper forms, this will increase the likelihood of the certification becoming separated from the remainder of the form.

SECTION 1. Translator or Preparer
Must now have a “yes” or “no”
Additionally, the revised I-9 now requires employees to affirmatively indicate whether they used a translator or preparer to complete Section 1, and to check “no” if they did not do so. In the past if an employee did not use a translator, the section was left blank.

SECTION 2. Additional Information Box
The revised form now has a box in Section 2 for “additional information.”
Examples of what the employer might include there are noted on the electronic version of the form. However, items that cannot be added in this section are:
Employment authorization extensions,
Additional documents that cannot be entered in the drop-down boxes:
E-Verify case numbers
Employee termination dates
Form retention dates

SECTION 3. Does not have any changes
FYI
Remember employers, particularly those using the paper version of the Form I-9, should be cautious not to include in the “additional information” box or on the form additional documentation provided by the employee beyond those legally permitted and other extraneous and potentially inappropriate information. And employers should keep in mind that anything appearing in that box will be available to USCIS in the course of any later audit.

Governmental Compliance Audits
Typical audits uncover 85 to 90 percent error rates; with most of the issues being technical errors that can be corrected before the government comes knocking on the company’s door.
ICE gives the company only 72 hours to provide the requested documentation.
Changes to be prepared for July 1, 2017.