Updated Form I-9 Released
On Nov. 14, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued an updated version of Form I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form). Under federal law, every employer that recruits, refers for a fee or hires an individual for employment in the United States must complete an I-9 Form.
The updated form replaces a form that was issued in 2013 and expired on March 31, 2016. The updated form includes changes that should make using both the paper and electronic versions more intuitive and easier to use.
Employers will be allowed to continue using the 2013 form until Jan. 21, 2017. Exclusive use of the updated form is expected by Jan. 22, 2017. The new form expires on Aug. 31, 2019.
- Employers should become familiar with the new I-9 Form and transition to exclusive use of the updated form by Jan. 22, 2017.
- Employers should also determine whether they will use the manual or electronic versions of Form I-9. The electronic version may help employers avoid some common mistakes, but using it may require additional training.
Field Changes and Updates
According to USCIS, the field updates and changes to the I-9 Form will make it easier for individuals to complete either a printed or electronic copy of this form.
The new form:
- Asks for an individual’s “other last names used” instead of “other names used”
- Streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals
- Prompts the person completing the form to include correct information
- Includes fields to enter multiple preparers and translators
- Dedicates a field to include additional information (this information will not need to be added on the margins anymore)
- Provides a supplemental page for preparers and translators
The electronic version of the form includes:
- Drop-down menus
- Calendars for filling in dates
- On-screen instructions for each field
- Easy access to the full set of instructions
- An option to clear the entire form and start over
In addition, when employers choose to print the electronic version, the new form will generate a quick response (QR) code, which can be read by most QR readers.
USCIS has separated the instructions from the actual form. This is consistent with other USCIS documents. In addition, because the form and the instructions have been separated, USCIS was able to include more detailed information on how to complete each field in the form.