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Continue Use of Current Form I-9

by Symmetry Tax Updates | Sep 12, 2019
The USCIS stated that until further notice, employers should continue using the current Form I-9 even after the expiration date of August 31, has passed.

USCIS Update on Form I-9

Since the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hasn’t announced a release date for the new Form I-9 version, past Form I-9 practice instructs employers to continue using the current form until the new version is released.

The USCIS – an agency of the DHS stated on August 27, 2019, in a news release published on the I-9 Central website that until further notice, employers should continue using the current Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, even after the expiration date of August 31 has passed.  

The USCIS will provide updated information about the new version of Form I-9 when it becomes available at www.uscis.gov/i-9. When the USCIS published the current Form 1-9 on July 17, 2017, employers had two months to switch over to the new form. 

Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification

Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. Employers must complete Form I-9 for all newly-hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services communication, August 28, 2019.)

ICE worksite enforcement investigations surged in the fiscal year 2018 

According to a news release put out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) criminal investigations, business audits and arrests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and auditors surged in the fiscal year 2018 compared to the previous year, following a commitment made by the agency in late 2017 to step up its worksite enforcement efforts across the country.

According to the release in the fiscal year 2018, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), opened 6,848 worksite investigations compared to 1,691 in FY17; initiated 5,981 I-9 audits compared to 1,360; and made 779 criminal and 1,525 administrative worksite-related arrests compared to 139 and 172, respectively; all these categories surged by 300 to 750 percent over the previous fiscal year. 

Businesses were ordered to pay more than $10.2 million in judicial fines, forfeitures, and restitutions in FY18 including a Texas business that agreed to forfeit more than $5.5 million and perform remedial measures, following a five-year investigation into the company and an Oklahoma business that agreed to pay more than $1 million. HSI also levied businesses another $10.2 million in civil penalties in FY18.

HSI’s worksite enforcement strategy continues to focus on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly break the law, and the use of I-9 audits and civil fines to encourage compliance with the law.