I-9 Update Goes Into Effect January 22nd, 2017

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released a new I-9 form as of November 14, 2016. It may now be used, although the old form will remain valid through January 21, 2017. After that date, you must use the new form. We recommend you update your new hire forms to incorporate the new I-9, unless you are already using the Aliat employee electronic onboarding process, where are all of our forms are up to date. Please contact us if you would like us to set up electronic onboarding for your company.

Instructions for Downloading the new I-9 Form

  1. Click Here to visit the USCIS I-9 webpage, or go to https://www.uscis.gov/i-9
  2. Right click on the link to the new form – “Form I-9 (PDF, 535 KB)” and select the “Save link as” option.
  3. This will allow you to save as a PDF and open the document in a PDF reader.
  4. Clicking it open in a web browser (as you would with most links) will result in an error page.

 Important notes about the new I-9 form:

  • While the new I-9 is intended to be completed as a fillable PDF to reduce errors, it should not be confused with an electronic I-9. An employer must still print the completed I-9, obtain the appropriate signatures (which are not fillable via PDF), monitor reverifications, and retain the form for the proper retention period. Employers and employees may choose to complete any or all of the form by typing into the fillable PDF or using a pen to fill out sections after the document has been printed. Documents that are partly printed and partly handwritten are acceptable. If using an electronic version of the I-9, employers must still comply with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ criteria to be certain of the integrity of the electronic system.
  • Do not reverify current employees due to the new form. Use the new I-9 only for newly hired employees and when you are required to reverify temporary work authorization. Additionally, all previous forms must still be retained for the proper retention period. The form must be retained for as long as the employee works for you, plus three years after their hire date or one year after their termination date, whichever is later.

Notable changes to the form itself include the following:

  • When completed electronically, there are prompts to ensure information is entered correctly. For example, the form will validate that the correct number of digits are entered for an employee’s Social Security number and various expiration dates. Calendars and drop-down lists also include electronic assistance.
  • The form includes on-screen instructions for each field as well as easy access to the full instructions.
  • In Section 1, employees must only provide other last names used, as opposed to all other names used.
  • Below an employee’s signature line, they must indicate via checkbox whether a Preparer and/or Translator was used to complete Section 1. Multiple preparers/translators can now be entered into Section 1 if needed.
  • There is a dedicated area for including additional information (when required) rather than having to add it in the margins.
  • In Section 2, employers will find a new “Citizenship/Immigration Status” field in the first line with numbers one through four. These numbers correlate directly to the employee’s selected citizenship or immigration status entered in Section 1. If you use the fillable version of the form, the corresponding digit will pre-populate. If you use a paper version, enter the corresponding digit in this field. These fields (the top line of Section 2) help to ensure that the two pages of an employee’s Form I-9 remain together.

The USCIS has yet to release a new Handbook for Employers and advises employers to follow the new form instructions for the most up-to-date information. Aliat will keep you updated if there is any additional information or updates to the form.

Please contact us if you have any questions.