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Revised I-9 Form Coming

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on September 14, 2016, that the newest version of their Form I-9 will be made available on or before Nov. 22, 2016.

Employers may continue to use the current version of Form I-9 with a revision date of 03/08/2013 until Jan. 21, 2017. After that date, all previous versions of the Form I-9 will no longer be valid.

The new Form I-9 will have an expiration date of Aug. 31, 2019.

The updates and changes are to assist employers in reducing errors for which they may be fined. The alterations are:

  1. Embedded instructions for completing each field.
  2. Validations on certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly. The form will validate the correct number of digits for a Social Security number or an expiration date on an identity document.
  3. Helpful drop-down lists and calendars.
  4. Buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form, if required, to start over.
  5. Additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators as appropriate. If the employee does not use a preparer or translator to assist in completing section 1, he or she must indicate so on a new check box labeled, "I did not use a preparer or translator."
  6. The requirement that workers provide only other last names used in Section 1, rather than all other names used. This is to avoid possible discrimination issues and to protect the privacy of transgender and other individuals who have changed their first names, Fay said.
  7. The removal of the requirement that immigrants authorized to work provide both their Form I-94 number and foreign passport information in Section 1.
  8. A new "Citizenship/Immigration Status" field at the top of section 2.
  9. A dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form, such as Temporary Protected Status and Optional Practical Training extensions.
  10. A quick-response matrix barcode, or QR code, that generates once the form is printed that can be used to streamline enforcement audits.
  11. Separate instructions from the form. Employers are still required to present the instructions to the employee completing the form, however.

Bear in mind, the new smart I-9 form is not an electronic I-9. Employers completing the new form using Adobe Reader will still need to print the form, obtain handwritten signatures, store in a safe place, monitor re-verifications and updates with a calendaring system, and retype information into E-Verify, if utilized.

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