The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a revised I-9 form in late August 2016. The new I-9 form will be published by November 22, 2016, and will expire on August 31, 2019. The form will be published on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
The current Form I-9 version will be valid until Jan.21, 2017 with a revision date of Rev. 03/08/13 N (located on the bottom left corner of the form, NOT the expiration date at the top). After that point, all employers must switch to the newly revised form.
What is an I-9 form?
I-9 forms are used to verify the identity and employment eligibility of individuals hired for employment in the United States (whether a citizen or noncitizen). Employers must complete a Form I-9 for every new hire. Employers must keep I-9 forms on file for all employees, and must be stored for three years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated (whichever is later).
So how is the new I-9 form different?
Some of the changes to the new I-9 form include:
- New structural changes and “smart” error-checking features (when using Adobe PDF viewer or application). The USCIS website specifies it is not an electronic I-9 form; when using Adobe PDF Reader – you’ll still have to print outthe form to obtain signatures dates.
- Validations on specific fields such as Social Security Number to make sure the number was entered correctly.
- New “Citizenship/Immigration Status” drop-down field in Section 2
- Immigrants who checked the Alien Authorized to Work box do not need to provide both the Form I-94 and a foreign passport number in Section 1, but just one of those options.
- Drop-down lists and calendars
- Requires preparer and/or translator certification. Employees must check that they did or did not use a preparer or translator to complete the form.
- Other Names Used (ONU) field in Section 1 is now other last names used. This change is to prevent discrimination and protect transgender or other individuals who have changed their first names.
- Embedded instructions for completing each field are provided by clicking on a question mark in the field.
- Addition of QR (Quick Response) barcodes at the bottom of the form that are generated after printing.
- The form may appear as three pages on your computer screen, but only prints out as two pages.
What do employers need to do?
Employers should be aware of the new form and new dates and should use the transition period to make sure their companies have compliant I-9 programs in place, including proper and consistent I-9 documentation and storage.