Barran Liebman 
Oregon Law Firm
Employers are Now Required to Complete an Updated Form I-9 for New Employees
By Samuel Hernandez
On November 14, 2016, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. All employers are required to begin using the revised form starting January 22, 2017. Until then, employers may continue to use the previous form dated March 8, 2013.
Various federal laws, including the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) require employers to hire only individuals who may legally work in the United States. Form I-9 helps employers comply with federal requirements and provides proof of compliance with applicable laws. The revised form now asks whether an individual has previously used a different last name instead of a previously used first name. Other changes include:
– The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators
– Separation of instructions, to keep in line with other USCIS forms
– Specific instruction for completing each field
Perhaps one of the better changes is a version employers may download online, which includes prompts and dropdown tips on how to complete each field.
Employers should remain aware that although completing Form I-9s may seem routine and burdensome, they should nevertheless be completed for each new hire. Failure to properly complete, retain, and/or make available for inspection Form I-9s can result in penalties between $110 and $1,100 for each violation. Accordingly, employers should begin using the revised form as soon as possible. The revised form and instructions can be found here.