USCIS Proposes Changes to Form I-9
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed several changes to the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form, which employers use to verify the identity and employment eligibility of workers. The form facilitates compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, which prohibits the knowing employment of undocumented workers.
The changes proposed include making the form visually clearer, while lengthening it from one page to two pages, and lengthening the instruction from three pages to six pages. Despite doubling the length of the form and instructions, USCIS estimates that the form should take only 13 minutes to complete, whereas the previous form was estimated to take 12 minutes to complete.
“While the proposed changes to Form I-9 make the form easier to read, requiring an employer to read six pages of instructions together with two pages of I-9, process the information and conclude all of this in a period which the government estimates to be 13 minutes is grossly understated especially in light of the consequences of improperly completing the document,” said Stewart Rabinowitz, a Dallas, Texas immigration attorney. DHS through ICE audits selected employers critically, and is quick to point out improprieties in the way an employer may have completed its I-9 forms. And ICE is equally quick to make assumptions challenging an employer’s good faith in completing the I-9 should ICE’s audit reveal errors that could not possibly have been avoided had the employer spent only 13 minutes to complete each I-9.
The proposed new I-9 also has an optional field for an employee’s e-mail address and telephone number, and requests the employee’s passport number. USCIS did not cite any purpose in collecting this information other than stating that the information would assist in contacting the employee regarding his or her employment eligibility.
“Making optional for the new hire to provide his or her e-mail address and a telephone number serves no valid purpose to assist the employer in meeting its obligations to prove identity and work authorization under the statute,” said Rabinowitz.
To learn more about Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C., call 1.972.233.6200 or visit http://www.rabinowitzrabinowitz.com.