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New I-9 form now in effect

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On Jan. 22, the I-9 form marked 03/08/13 became obsolete and was replaced by a new form marked 11/14/2016. Maryland employers that fail to use the new forms could be subject to increased penalties, and it is expected that ICE audits will increase as a result of the Trump administration. For the most part, the new I-9 is similar to the previous version of the I-9, and the new forms do not have to be used for current employees.

Employers can either print out a copy of the new form or fill it out electronically before printing it out. It is also possible to fill out the form through an electronic I-9 vendor. It is important to note that I-9 smart forms cannot be filed electronically. Instead, a paper copy must be printed and signed with a pen.

The smart form is valuable because it will flag errors and provide additional information for a user. However, it cannot be used for reporting, does not store information and does not connect to E-Verify. It is also not a safe harbor against an ICE enforcement action. Employers who use electronic systems should check to make sure that vendors are collecting all necessary information and that the form has been properly updated.

Individuals who are not a citizen of the United States aren't automatically granted the right to work in the country. It may be worthwhile for permanent residents or others who aren't naturalized to talk with an attorney about their work status. An attorney may be able to review an immigrant's residency status or that person's visa to determine if that person can legally be hired. If an individual's visa has expired, an attorney may be able to help take steps to get it renewed.

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