United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 21, 2023, a new Form I-9—which has been streamlined and shortened—that employers should use beginning August 1, 2023. The new form can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/i-9.pdf
Employers may continue to use the older Form I-9 (Rev. 10/21/19) through October 31, 2023. Beginning on November 1, 2023, employers will be subject to penalties if they use the older form.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule allowing the agency to create a framework under which employers can implement alternative document examination procedures, such as remote examination. The new form subsequently has a checkbox to indicate when an employee’s Form I-9 documentation was examined using a DHS-authorized alternative procedure.
DHS confirmed that only employers that use E-Verify, who are in good standing, may continue to conduct verifications electronically after August 1, 2023. However, the stage has been set for permanent remote examinations to become a reality for all employers based on the new rule. E-Verify employers performing remote verification must conduct a live video interview with the employee, retain copies of all documents presented in the I-9 verification process and create E-Verify cases for new employees.
Employers who do not participate in E-Verify have until August 30, 2023, as previously announced, to perform all required physical examinations of identity and employment authorization documents for those individuals hired on or after March 20, 2020, and who have received only a virtual or remote examination under the COVID-19 temporary flexibilities.
What’s New in the Revised Form I-9?
USCIS made the following updates to the Form I-9:
- Reduced Sections 1 and 2 to a single-sided sheet. No previous fields were removed, but multiple fields were merged into fewer fields when possible.
- Moved the Section 1 Preparer/Translator Certification area to a separate, standalone supplement (Supplement A) that employers can provide to employees when necessary. Employers may attach additional supplement sheets as needed.
- Moved the Section 3 Reverification and Rehire area to a separate, standalone supplement (Supplement B) that employers can print if or when rehire occurs or re-verification is required. Employers may attach additional supplement sheets as necessary.
- Removed use of “alien authorized to work” in Section 1 and replaced it with “noncitizen authorized to work” as well as clarified the difference between “noncitizen national” and “noncitizen authorized to work.”
- Ensured the form can be filled out on tablets and mobile devices.
- Removed certain features to ensure the form can be downloaded easily. This also removes the requirement to enter N/A in certain fields.
- Updated the notice at the top of the form that explains how to avoid discrimination in the Form I-9 process.
- Revised the Lists of Acceptable Documents page to include some acceptable receipts and guidance and links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation. Added a box that eligible employers must check if the employee’s Form I-9 documentation was examined under a DHS-authorized alternative procedure rather than via physical examination.
Completing the New Form I-9
- Completed at the time of hire, Section 1 of the new form collects identifying information about the employee and requires the employee to attest to whether they are a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national, lawful permanent resident, or noncitizen authorized to work in the United States.
- Completed within three days of the employee’s hire, Section 2 of the new form collects information about the employee’s identity and employment authorization. The employee must present original documentation proving the employee’s identity and employment authorization, which the employer must review.
- When new hires have preparers and/or translators assist them in completing Section 1, they should complete Supplement A.
- Employers should fill out Supplement B when a rehire occurs or re-verification is required. This should be completed before the worker’s employment authorization expires. Supplement B also may be used to record a name change.
- Employers must maintain a person’s Form I-9 for as long as the individual works for the employer and the required retention period after the termination of an individual’s employment (either three years after the date of hire or one year after the employment ended, whichever is later).
- Employers must make I-9 forms available for inspection upon request by officers of the DHS, the U.S. Department of Justice, or the U.S. Department of Labor. Employers that do not complete and retain I-9 forms properly may face civil money penalties and, in some cases, criminal penalties, according to the DHS.
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