DHS postpones new Form I-9 to April 3

Beginning Monday, February 2, 2009, all U.S. businesses were scheduled to update their Employment Verification practices to incorporate new standards for documentation and newly updated I-9 Forms. However, late in the day on Friday, January 30, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended another 30-day comment period for the new rules and pushed back the scheduled update by two months, instructing businesses to resume their use of the previous guidelines and I-9 Forms.

This move caused confusion among hiring managers and Human Resources departments across the country. Within just the past few weeks, businesses had been scrambling to receive and distribute the recently released updated I-9 Forms to meet the February 2nd deadline. In doing so, many have discarded the previous forms believing them to be outdated.

Completing an I-9 Form is mandatory for all new employees hired to work in the United States and the scheduled update reflected several changes in the acceptable documents employers can use to verify an applicant's eligibility to work. The retraction and re-instatement of the old forms has employers once again scrambling to respond and replace forms thrown away last week.

Ashley Kaplan, Labor Law Compliance Attorney for G.Neil, received the DHS announcement Friday evening and immediately recognized the potential challenges.

“We worked overtime last week to ship out the updated forms to our customers to begin using on February 2, and now need to get back to them with new instructions,” Kaplan explains. “We’re providing a free pdf of the previous I-9 Form and instructions to our customers who purchased the updated forms. We’ll also closely monitor the extended review period in case further changes occur before the April 3rd deadline.”

Learn more about the most recent changes in our new Form I-9 Q & A.

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