When a new employee is hired to work remotely, a company may instruct the new hire to take the I-9 Form to a Notary for completion. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses the I-9 form to verify employment eligibility. Every employee in the United States must have one on file. The Form essentially requests verification of proper ID by an authorized agent. Notaries must use the new form by Jan. 22, 2017.
Before you start thinking that this could be a new adjunct to your thriving notary business, California Notaries, unfortunately, are restricted from filling out these forms unless they are a qualified and bonded Immigration Consultant. (As per California Business and Professions Code Sections 22440-22449). Once a Notary is qualified to be a Bonded Immigration Consultant, he/she can render this service legally.
The BIC Notary should ask for any instructions provided by the employer so that he/she (the Notary) may comply with specific requests. Sometimes directions do not accompany the form. But if they do, Notaries should copy and start a file of I-9 requests or make a note of the transactions. Because the I-9 forms are not notarized, Notaries should not use their notary journal as part of this process. (Note that when hiring locally or within a company the form can be completed by the employee and employer.)
The USCIS has modified the form to make it easier to use. Some of the new features include the ability for more than one preparer or translator to enter information, prompts to keep applicants on track, and a section for “other last names used” instead of “other names used.” Additionally, it streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals. It also contains a new “Additional Information” section so that the authorization agent no longer has to squeeze their notations in the margin.
Form I-9 requirements were established in November 1986 when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act prohibiting employers from hiring people without verifying their identity and employment authorization. This included immigrants as well as U.S. citizens.