U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Friday a new version of Form I-9, also known as Employment Eligibility Verification. Employers in the United States use this form to verify the identity and employment authorization of their employees.
“The newly updated Form I-9 contains myriad revisions to the form and its instructions to streamline these materials and reduce employer and employee burden associated with the form,” the federal agency said in a notice published on the Federal Register.
what are the changes?
Here are the key changes to Form I-9:
- Shorter sections: Reduced sections 1 and 2 to fit on one single-sided sheet. “Multiple fields were merged into fewer fields when possible,” wrote USCIS.
- Preparer and/or Translator Certification (Supplement A): Supplement A is now a separate supplement that employers can easily give to employees to fill out and return.
- Reverification and Rehire (Supplement B): Supplement B, which is used to verify the employee still has valid employment authorization, has also been moved to a separate, standalone document.
- Terminology Changes: The term “alien authorized to work” in Section 1 has been replaced with “noncitizen authorized to work.” Additionally, the distinction between “noncitizen national” and “noncitizen authorized to work” has been clarified.
- Improved Usability: The updated form is designed to be compatible with tablets and mobile devices, making it easier for employers and employees to fill out electronically.
- Simplified Instructions: The length of instructions has been reduced from 15 to 8 pages.
- Anti-Discrimination Measures: The notice at the top of Form I-9 has been updated to provide clearer guidance for employers on avoiding discrimination during the verification process.
- Alternative Document Examination: The new Form I-9 includes a checkbox that employers can use to indicate when they’ve examined an employee’s documentation using a DHS-authorized alternative procedure instead of the traditional in-person physical examination.
When does the new version go into effect?
Employers can start using the updated Form I-9 (Rev. 08/01/23) on August 1, 2023. However, they can continue using the previous version (Rev. 10/21/19) until October 31, 2023. After that date, the older version becomes obsolete.
Keep in mind that proper completion and retention of Forms I-9 are crucial, and failing to comply may lead to civil or even criminal penalties. So be sure you’re up to date with the new form and its instructions to avoid any issues down the line. You can download the current Form I-9 from the USCIS website.