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Global Work Glossary

What is Form I-9 and why is it essential?

Form I-9, or the "Employment Eligibility Verification Form," is a crucial document used in the United States to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for work within the country. Enforced by the US Department of Homeland Security's US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it is vital for ensuring compliance with immigration laws and preventing unauthorized employment.

Completion of Form I-9

Employers are mandated by federal law to complete Form I-9 when hiring new employees, encompassing US citizens, noncitizen nationals, lawful permanent residents, and noncitizens authorized to work in the US. The form entails two sections, with Section 1 to be completed by the employee and Sections 2 and Supplement B by the employer. The latter must provide detailed instructions to aid in the completion process.

Timeline and Retention Requirements

Form I-9 must be completed within the initial three business days of the employee's employment commencement. Additionally, employers must retain Form I-9 for each current employee until the termination date or three years post-hire, whichever is later. These forms are subject to inspection by various government bodies to ensure compliance.

Consequences of Non-compliance

Failure to conduct I-9 verification accurately can result in severe penalties, including fines, government contract debarments, and criminal repercussions. Employers must also avoid using the I-9 process for discriminatory practices based on national origin, citizenship, or immigration status, which could lead to legal issues.

Best Practices and Staying Updated

Best practices for I-9 verification involve training HR personnel, conducting internal audits, and utilizing electronic systems for managing forms. Staying updated on changes related to I-9 Verification can be achieved by monitoring the official USCIS website, subscribing to newsletters, and participating in HR compliance webinars.

Recent Updates and Common Mistakes

Recent updates to Form I-9 include the issuance of a new form and alterations to verification procedures due to the pandemic. Common mistakes in I-9 verification include tardiness in form completion and errors in document review, which can result in non-compliance and penalties.

I-9 Verification for Employer of Record (EOR)

I-9 Verification for Employer of Record (EOR) involves confirming or revalidating a newly hired employee's identity and employment eligibility. EORs ensure compliance by reviewing identity documents and completing the I-9 form, adhering to updated verification processes.

Global Hiring and Remote Work Implications

For companies hiring within the US, I-9 verification is pivotal, irrespective of their base location. With remote work, the verification process can be complex, but authorized representatives can facilitate compliance by physically reviewing documents on behalf of employers.

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