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The New (Improved?) I-9 Form

On January 22, 2017, employers must use an updated version of the Form I-9, making the previous I-9 form (dated March 8, 2013) obsolete. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") issued the new version on November 14, 2016. The core requirements of the Form I-9 remain unchanged, but there are substantive changes including:

  • Increase in guidance in the instructions as to how to complete the form from six pages to fifteen pages
  • Changes to Section 1 (the portion completed by the employee):
    • An employee can no longer leave a space blank, but instead must enter "N/A" in each field that previously would have been blank
    • Foreign nationals can now provide an alien registration number if they are authorized to work in the U.S. or provide a Form I-94 admission number or foreign passport number.
    • Requires employees to affirmatively answer that they did not use a preparer or translator.
  • Changes to Section 2 (the portion completed by the employer):
    • Employer is required to enter the corresponding number of the employee's attestation of citizenship or immigration status from page 1.
    • Space for the employer to make notes or record additional information.

While the form can be completed online it is important for employers to remember that they cannot review the required documents remotely via webcam or similar technology. Additionally, while employers do not have to use the new Form I-9 on existing employees, they need to use it for all employees who were hired or who required recertification on or after January 22, 2017. Employers can be fined a minimum of $216 and a maximum of $2,156 for each and every Form 1-9 violation. A copy of the updated 1-9 form can be accessed here.

Topics: HR Best Practices