Employment Based Immigration: New Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification
On November 14, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (“Form I-9”). Employers can continue to use the most recent version dated March 8, 2013 until January 22, 2017. By January 22, 2017, employers must use only the new version or face serious fines.
Form I-9 requirements were established in November 1986 when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). IRCA prohibits employers from hiring people, including U.S. citizens, for employment in the United States without verifying their identity and employment authorization using Form I-9.
Among the changes in the new version, Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” and streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals. The revised Form I-9 is easier to complete using a computer. Enhancements include drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each blank item, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over.
Additionally, prompts have been added to ensure the information is entered correctly, and now employers can enter multiple preparers and translators. There is a dedicated area for including all additional information rather than having to add it in the margins. There is also a supplemental page for the preparer/translator. When the employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers and may be used to streamline audit processes.
The instructions have been separated from the form, consistent with other USCIS forms, and include specific instructions for completing each field.