The new I-9 form is coming: Take advantage of grace period

A new version of Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) is coming this fall, with enhanced features to reduce errors and help employers complete it on their computers. (See “Get ready to use new, enhanced Form I-9.”)

The new form is scheduled to be ready by Nov. 23. However, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to accept the current I-9 (it carries a March 31, 2016 expiration date) until Jan. 21, 2017.

This is significant, according to immigration law attorney John Fay of the LawLogix software firm, because it gives employers time to adapt. “In 2013, the USCIS provided employers with only two months to start using the current version of the form,” Fay says, “hardly enough time for HR to update all of the policy documents, training materials, and procedures which go along with the I-9.”

His advice: Use the grace period to review your employment eligibility verification practices and revise them if necessary.

Note: Although the new Form I-9 is based on an Adobe Reader platform, it is not an electronic form designed to be stored on employers’ computer systems. Employers may complete the form on their computers; but they must still print it out, have employees physically sign it and then store it in paper form.