As promised, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released the latest revision to the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The latest version can be downloaded at the USCIS's website, available here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.
As noted previously by The Saqui Law Group [link: http://laborcounselors.com/news-resources/news/19-general-legal-updates/285-inquiring-minds-want-to-know-the-new-i-9-form], employers can continue using the old version of the Form I-9 until January 21, 2017. However, beginning January 22, 2017, employers must begin using the revised Form I-9 for new employees.
The revised Form I-9 does not require any additional information be provided by the employee or employer. Instead, the new Form contains further prompts and instructions intended to make it easier to complete electronically. On the Form I-9 itself, each box now contains a question mark symbol (“?”); if the user clicks on the symbol, a pop-up will give more detail on the information being sought. The additional information provided in the pop-ups is the same information contained in the newly revised Instructions for Form I-9.
The new Form I-9 also automatically performs certain checks, including filling out certain fields for the user. For example, in Section 1 of the Form I-9, if the employee checks the box indicating that they are a citizen, the sections related to alien registration are filled out with “N/A.” Similarly, if an Employer indicates that the employee provided an identifying document from List A (from a new drop down list), the Form I-9 will automatically fill in “N/A” for the sections requiring documentation under Lists B and C. There is also a button on the bottom of each page, titled “Click to Finish”, which will review whether all fields on the page are fully completed. Once each section is fully completed, the Form I-9 informs you that you are ready to print, sign and date the section.
Finally, the new Form I-9 also includes additional space to give further information. This includes the ability to enter information for up to five preparers or translators and features an area for employers to write any “additional information.” According to the instructions, this could include employment authorization extensions for H-2A employees that are continuing employment or changing employers.
COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:
Since the revised Form I-9 should make completing the Form I-9 easier for employers, The Saqui Law Group recommends that employers begin using the newly revised form now. The USCIS’s website also promises that an update is coming soon for the Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9, last revised in April 2013. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the new Form I-9 or ensuring that your Company’s hiring procedures are compliant with California State and Federal law, please contact The Saqui Law Group.