New Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification Is Released

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) just released the long-awaited new Form I-9 for employment eligibility verification.

Effective Dates

Employers may continue using the old Form I-9 (with a revision date of March 8, 2013) through January 21, 2017. The revised form must be used by January 22, 2017, to confirm the identity and employment eligibility of new hires.

What Changed?

Because employers and employees were making errors when completing the old form, stakeholders requested USCIS develop a Form I-9 that incorporated tools to mitigate or prevent employer and employee errors.

The result is what’s called a smart Form I-9 with instructions imbedded.  You fill it out using a computer, but it isn’t considered an electronic Form I-9 under Department of Homeland Security regulations and can’t be electronically signed. You also have the option to fill it out by hand. Regardless of the method used to enter information into each field, you must print a hard copy of the form and sign and date it by hand where required.

The following are updates to the form. These include:

  • “Helper” and “hover” text icons for every form field when users complete the form on a computer
  • Some fields that automatically populate when users complete the form on a computer
  • A supplemental page for the preparer and translator
  • A computer version of the smart form that automatically checks for errors and highlights boxes that need attention
  • Instructions, which are now separate from the form and more explicit on what documents are acceptable (including a list of acceptable receipts, which really helps avoid confusion)
  • A list of abbreviations for acceptable documents

Employers should continue to follow the existing storage and retention rules for previously completed Forms I-9.

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If you’d like to know more about the new Form I-9, contact your Moss Adams professional.

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