UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 2016
Get ready to use new 'smart' I-9 form. Within the next two months, expect the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to publish a long-awaited update to the Form I-9. The goal: help employers reduce errors and ease the process of completing the work-verification form on their office computers.
The changes stop short of creating a fully electronic I-9. While you will be able to complete the editable PDF form on your computer, you’d still need to print the form, obtain handwritten signatures, store the paperwork and monitor reverifications. The good news: USCIS say you’ll be able to continue using the current I-9 form—which carries an expiration date of 03/31/16 in the top right corner—up until Jan. 21, 2017.
What’s new on the I-9? Expect error-checking features, such as:
- Dropdown functionality for filling in lists and selecting dates
- Prompts on certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly
- Embedded instructions for completing each field
- A dedicated area to enter additional information that employers currently have to jot in the margins of the form
- A barcode unique to each form (QR code) to identify it for audit purposes.
The new I-9 also includes some structural changes and new fields. Example: The “Other Names Used” field in section 1 will be replaced by “Other Last Names Used” to avoid discrimination and protect the privacy of transgender people and others who have changed their first names.
The new Form I-9 is expected to carry an expiration date of Aug. 31, 2019. For details on the coming I-9 changes, see the LawLogix blog.
UPDATE: April 2016
The current version of the Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) form carries a March 31, 2016, expiration date in the upper right corner. That date came and went without the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) publishing a new version of the form. But the USCIS has announced that, until further notice, employers should continue using that form with the 3/31/16 expiration date.
In the coming months, look for the USCIS to release of a revised “smart” I-9 form that will make it easier for employers to input the information via on-screen data entry. See a description of the proposed changes to the smart I-9.
Feds publish revised version of I-9 form
That old stalwart of HR paperwork—the I-9 Form—got its much-anticipated facelift.
On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new version of the Employment Eligibility Verification Form. Employers have been required since 1986 to complete the I-9 Form for each new hire to verify the person’s identity and work eligibility, then to keep the form on file.
The USCIS announced the change in the Federal Register on March 8 and published the new form on its web site.
60-day grace period. Employers can immediately start using the new form, which carries a “Rev. 03/08/13)N” notation in the bottom left corner. The USCIS is giving employers 60 days to begin using the new form in their hiring procedures. “After May 7, 2013, all employers must use the revised Form I-9 for each new employee hired in the United States,” said the agency.
Employers that fail to use the correct form after 60 days open themselves to the varying penalties under the law.
What’s new? According the USCIS, the new form “makes several improvements designed to minimize the errors in form completion." These include:
- Adding new data fields, including room for the employee’s telephone number and email address, as well as foreign passport information;
- Clarifying the form’s instructions; and
- Revising the layout of the form and expanding it from one to two pages (not including the form’s instructions and List of Acceptable Documents)
Note: Employers do NOT have to complete a new Form I-9 for current employees if they already have a complete I-9 on file for that worker (unless reverification applies). Unnecessary verification efforts of your employees could trigger a discrimination complaint. So, starting today, only use the new form with new hires or employees who need I-9 reverification.
USCIS has also scheduled free webinars to help employers learn about the new form.
NEW CHANGES TO THE I-9 FORMHere is a section-by-section summary of the changes to the Form I-9, according to a report by the Fisher & Phillips law firm:
Section 1: Employer Information and Attestation
Fields are added to list the employee’s email address and telephone number, but are optional; and
- For an employee who checks “An Alien Authorized to Work Until….” and who were issued an I-94 card, he or she will also need to list the foreign passport number and country of issuance.
Section 2: Employer Review and Verification
Employers will need to list employee’s full name at the top of Page 2;
- List A now has room to list three documents, which is helpful to the employer because the prior form only had room for two documents and there are occasions when three documents are required, e.g., J-1 visa holders or F-1 students completing Optional Practical Training;
- Certification Box - adds numbers to the items the HR representative must attest to when reviewing the documents and separates out the place where the employer is required to insert the employee’s first date of work for pay;
- The List of Acceptable Documents, List A, Number 5 has revised language but essentially includes the same information regarding accepting foreign passports and I-94 cards;
- The List of Acceptable Documents, List C, Number 1 provides clarification that Social Security Cards containing restrictions, such as “Not Valid For Employment,” “Valid for Work Only with INS Authorization,” or “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization” are not acceptable as List C documents; and
- The List of Acceptable Documents includes a reference to Section 2 of the Handbook for Employers regarding information about acceptable receipts.
Section 3: Reverification & Rehires
- Provides clarification that List B identity documents do not require reverification; and
- Adds a field for the Employer representative to print his or her name.