Jan. 23 was the Trump administration’s first business day and the first day of a new era in employment eligibility verification. It’s when use of the latest Form I-9 became mandatory for employers that hire new employees.
The new I-9 is a “smart” PDF—available online and featuring dropdown menus, hover text with instructions and error messages. Despite the hover text feature, a complete set of printed instructions are available.
The form is “fillable and savable,” according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). That means it can be completed on a computer, printed and filed. It’s also fine to simply print it out to be completed by hand and then filed.
Caution: If you choose to print out I-9s to be completed by hand, take care. That bypasses all the “smart” features, such as dropdown fields that must be completed. Employers will be liable for forms that are incomplete.
As smart as the new I-9 is, it’s not a fully electronic form.
For example, both the employer’s representative and employee must physically sign a printed out, paper document. Once completed, employers may scan the forms for electronic storage.
As always, employers are responsible for retaining completed I-9s; they are not to be submitted to USCIS or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Download the new I-9, read detailed instructions on how to complete it and learn more at www.uscis.gov/i-9.