Employers Should Start Using New I-9 Form by Jan. 22, 2017

The federal government has made changes to Form I-9, a document all employers must have on all employees, even if you only employ one person.

You can find the new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification form and other I-9 information at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9

By Jan. 22, 2017, employers must use the revised form, dated 11/14/2016, for all new hires. You don’t need to complete new I-9s for your existing workforce, but you will need to use the new form for any existing employees who require reverifying for their work authorization.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) designed the new Form I-9 to be easier to fill out on a computer. A paper version that can be printed and then filled out also exists.

The revision in the form follows an almost 100 percent increase in the fines for mistakes or omissions on the form. The new penalties, which went into effect on Aug. 1, 2016, apply to violations that occurred after Nov. 2, 2015.

The fines for I-9 paperwork violations have increased from a range of $110 to $1,100 per violation to a range of $216 to $2,156 per violation.

>> Find out more about these and other penalties

Because of the consequences of Form I-9 violations, employers should become familiar with this new document BEFORE it becomes mandatory.

>> Learn more about I-9 compliance from employment law expert Mike Thompson