On November 14, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released a revised version of Form I-9. The Form I-9 is a tool that employers must use to verify the identity and employment authorization for individuals hired in the United States. The revised Form I-9 can be found on USCIS’ I-9 webpage (https://www.uscis.gov/i-9), and has some new features that are meant to make the form more user-friendly and reduce completion errors. Most significantly, the form has many interactive features that are accessible if the form is completed electronically, instead of in hard-copy paper format. The interactive features include the following:
- Drop-down lists and calendars
- Buttons that provide instructions for completing each field
- Buttons that allow the user to clear all fields and start the form over
- Auto-fill features that complete sections based on the user’s entries
- Prompts that inform the user when required form sections are incomplete
If feasible, we recommend adding the electronic Form I-9 to your company’s onboarding process, as it is likely to reduce some of the most common I-9 errors. For example, one of the most common errors is leaving required fields blank. The electronic Form I-9 can help prevent this.
It is important to note that while the form can be completed on a computer, employers still need to print the form and obtain handwritten signatures. The new Form I-9 is currently available for use, but employers may continue using the old Form I-9 (which has a revision date of 03/08/2013) through January 21, 2017. By January 22, 2017, employers must use the revised form.
If you have any questions or are interested in additional information about the revised Form-I-9, do not hesitate to contact any member of our firm’s Immigration Practice Area at (585) 232-6500.