On November 22, 2016, the Department of U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new version of the I-9 Form. This announcement is long expected as the previous version expired on March 31, 2016.
It is important to make sure you are aware of the new changes so you and your staff can properly prepare to avoid hefty fines and penalties for non-compliance.
What’s New With The Form I-9?
The biggest change users will find on the new I-9 Form is it is much more technologically and user-friendly. The majority of the changes to the form make it much simpler to fill it out using a computer. Examples of the changes to the new Form I-9 include:
- Field data validation to ensure information is accurately entered while filling out the document
- Inclusion of calendars and drop down lists to easily find dates
- Real-time error messages
- An option to list multiple preparers and translators
- A clear distinction between an Alien Registration Number and USCIS number in Section 1
- Separating the I-9 Form’s instructions with the actual document
- Adding a new “Citizenship/Immigration Status” field to the top of Section 2 for employers to record the number listed in the associated field in Section 1
- Embedded instructions on how to properly fill out the I-9 Form
- Adding a function to automatically generate a barcode once the form is printed to help streamline ICE audit processes
Visit USCIS’s website for a full list of what to expect with the new form.
Federal I-9 Requirements
As with any change going into effect, it is important to make sure you and your management staff have a clear understanding of all the federal I-9 requirements. This includes knowing which documentation is supported, who is responsible for completing each section, how many days after an employee begins work the I-9 Form needs to be completed, and so on. Much of this information can be found on the document itself.
Employers may continue using the I-9 Form with the expiration date of 03/31/2016 until January 21, 2017. After that date, only the updated version of the document will be accepted, and all previous versions will be considered invalid.