Nothing says "Welcome to the Company" like having new employees fill out paperwork on their first day. While some of that paperwork can be delayed, the federal government demands that employers fill out one certain form within three days—the infamous Employment Eligibility Verification Form, or I-9 Form as it's known.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has proposed some changes to the I-9, but hasn’t made anything official yet. In the meantime, many HR professionals noticed that the form carries an expiration date of Aug. 31, 2012 (in the upper right corner), which is quickly approaching.
What if the USCIS doesn’t release a new form before the Aug. 31 expiration date? The question has baffled I-9 groupies (yes, there are I-9 groupies out there!).
Well, the USCIS solved the mystery last week, saying this:
"Until further notice, employers should continue using the Form I-9 currently available on the forms section of http://www.uscis.gov. This form should continue to be used even after the OMB control number expiration date of August 31, 2012 has passed. USCIS will provide updated information about the new version of the Form I-9 as it becomes available."
That solves that. But what changes can you expect the USCIS to make once it does give the I-9 its facelift?
According to the I-9 and E-Verify Blog, this will be the 12th version of the I-9, which originally debuted in 1987. Most of those were minor modifications—a checkbox here or a word change there to reflect I-9 regulation changes.
The biggest difference this time: The form would expand from two to three pages (including the “List of Acceptable Documents”).
The extra room would allow USCIS to add additional List A documents and more information for employers and employees to complete. It would include new, optional data fields to collect the employee’s email address and phone number. Plus, Section 2 would be on the second page of the form, which provides a clear delineation: page 1 is for the employee (or preparer) to complete and page 2 is for the employer to complete.
So far, the USCIS has received more than 6,200 comments on these proposed changes. The comment period has been extended to Sept. 21, 2012. For more details on the changes and links to comment, go to the I-9 and E-Verify Blog.