The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently published a revised version of Form I-9 that goes into effect on January 22, 2017. Until its effective date, employers may use the existing Form I-9 dated March 8, 2013, or the new version found here.
According to USCIS, changes to the new I-9 are designed to reduce errors and enhance form completion using a computer. One notable change in Section 1 includes an updated box that asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” and streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals.
Other changes to help reduce errors include:
- The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly.
- A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins.
- A question regarding whether a preparer or translator was used.
- The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators.
- A supplemental page for the preparer/translator.
- A field to enter additional information such as E-Verify confirmation numbers, termination dates and correction notes.
Another distinguishing change is that the instructions have been separated from the form, making it much easier to print the forms for new employees. The instructions have also been updated to include specific instructions for completing each field.
The changes that make the I-9 easier to complete on a computer include:
- Drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates;
- On-screen instructions for each field;
- Easy access to the full instructions; and
- An option to clear the form and start over.
In addition, when the employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers. This feature will be useful in the event of an enforcement audit. As an FYI, employers using the new electronic form will need to have an updated version of Adobe Reader.
Although the former I-9 can still be used, we encourage employers to start using the new form and updating any printed paperwork packets with the new version immediately. For questions about the I-9, please contact our HR experts at email@example.com.