A new Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) was released on November 14, 2016. Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), employers are required to verify the employment eligibility and identity of new employees by reviewing documents provided by the employee (such as passports, visas, licenses, etc.) and completing the Form I-9. This requirement applies to all new employees including U.S. citizens. Although the Form I-9 is currently two pages and may seem simple, it is difficult to comply with all I-9 requirements. Errors are frequently made when completing the form, which may lead to penalties and fines to the employer. The new form is intended to help reduce errors, and allow completion of the form on the USCIS website.
The on-line form now includes 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. This should not be confused with the electronic I-9 used in the E-verify system.
Other changes include prompts to ensure information is entered correctly, the ability to enter multiple preparers and translators, a dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins, and a supplemental page for the preparer/translator.
The instructions have also been separated from the form, and include specific instructions for completing each field.
Although employers may continue to use either the old version (dated 3/8/2013) or the new version, they will be obligated to use the new version as of January 22, 2017.