On April 3, 2009, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will begin using a revised version of the I-9 Form to verify identity and authorization to work in the United States. Employers are required to complete the new I-9 Form for each new employee hired in the United States on or after April 3, 2009. Additionally, the new rule prevents employees from using expired identification documents to verify their work eligibility starting April 3, 2009.
The crackdown on immigration and the Form I-9 procedures have caused a dilemma in the workplace. On one hand, there are stiff penalties and even criminal prosecution for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. On the other hand, improper questioning of job-seekers can lead to charges of discrimination. A quick checklist can help with your immigration procedures.
1. Ask each candidate if he/she is authorized to work in the United States. However, be careful not to ask about place of birth or national origin. These types of questions can be viewed as discriminatory if you decide not to hire the candidate.
2. Have the new hire complete the attached I-9 Form within 3 days of starting work.
3. Check to make certain that the identity and authorization documents are acceptable and appear genuine.
4. If you need to make corrections, complete another I-9 Form without altering the existing form.
The new I-9 Form is attached to this email and may also be found on http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/I-9_IFR_02-02-09.pdf