United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Effective Jan. 22, 2017, employers must use only the new version, dated 11/14/2016 N. Until then, employers may continue to use the version dated 03/08/2013 N or the new version. The new Form I-9 was created in an effort to reduce error and make the form more user-friendly.
Some changes on the new form include:
- Asking for “other last names used” rather than “other names used” (Section 1);
- The addition of 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 been separated from the form (like other USCIS forms) and include specific instructions on how to complete each field.
The new Form I-9 is also easier to complete on a computer. Some enhancements include 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.” When the employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers.
Form I-9 requirements were established in November 1986 when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). IRCA prohibits employers from hiring anyone (including U.S. citizens) for employment in the U.S. without verifying their identity and employment authorization on Form I-9.
E-Verify is the internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9 to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. E-Verify is the only free, fast, online service of its kind that verifies employees’ data against millions of government records and provides results within as little as three to five seconds. Form I-9 is the core of E-Verify. As such, E-Verify is expected to auto update to the new Form I-9.
Our attorneys are extremely knowledgeable in E-Verify and in completing Form I-9 and ensuring I-9 compliance. If you have any questions on the new Form I-9 or how to complete an I-9, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!