On Monday, November 14, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the anticipated new Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) that replaces the current version, which expired on March 31 of this year.

Beginning on January 22, 2017, employers are required to start using the updated I-9 Form (edition 11/14/16) as they review employment eligibility for their new employees.

Employers are required to utilize the I-9 Form to verify the identity and employment authorization for individuals to work in the United States within three business days of the employee’s hire date, for both citizens and non-citizens.

  • On the form, the employee must prove his or her employment eligibility, while the employer must review acceptable document(s) proving the employee’s identity and his or her employment authorization.
  • The list of acceptable document(s) can be found on the last page of the form, and the employer must determine whether the document(s) appear to be genuine before documenting the information on the I-9 Form.
  • Employers are accountable for the proper completion and retention of the I-9 for all employees.

View the New Form I-9

The new form was created in an effort to reduce technical errors and mistakes, which commonly existed on the previous version. As the Department of Labor has increased auditing efforts over the last few years, the most common mistakes found on the previous version of the form are:

  • Incomplete forms with missing information
  • Incorrect date format use
  • Failing to meet the retention guidelines or to complete the form within the required three business days

The new I-9 Form, when used in the Adobe PDF format, is a “smart” form designed to reduce those mistakes and help employers complete and retain accurate I-9 Forms.

A few of the notable improvements and features of the new PDF I-9 Form are:

  • Pre-populating certain fields for employers
  • “Click to Finish” button that reviews the form and notes errors
  • Automating format of birth date and date of hire fields
  • Drop down options to verify acceptable document(s), allowing users to easily identify where information should go

Employers should use the next two months to understand the form’s new functionality and to take the opportunity to determine how internal processes can/should change to maximize the capability of the new smart form.

If you have any questions, contact your Dean Dorton advisor or Jeff Ricketts at jricketts@deandorton.com.