On November 14, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a revised version of the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. The current form remains valid until January 21, 2017. However, on January 22, 2017, all employers must begin using the new version in order to remain compliant with the I-9 regulations.
USCIS has made some improvements to the form to reduce errors and enhancements that make completing the form on a computer so much easier.
USCIS has really made strides to make the I-9 form more user friendly with detailed explanations in each box of what information needs to be entered. Taking advantage of filling out the form via PDF could prove to decrease errors. For example, if a new hire enters in their date of birth incorrectly i.e. 09/29/84 an error message will pop up giving an example of the correct format. If the error is still not corrected the box will remain red until the error is corrected.
Additionally, the form will not allow new hires to check more than one box when selecting citizenship status.
The form will check to ensure that each field in Section 1 is filled out and will not let you enter information in Section 2 until it is fully complete. After all the information is filled out in its entirety the new hire will be prompted to print, sign, and date.
The form will also pre-populate the top of Section 2, which is one of the most commonly missed fields.
In section 2 drop down list are provided for each list category to ensure the correct document title, issuing authority, document number, and expiration date is entered. The form will also prompt the preparer if he/she entered in the wrong information. For example, in List C if the social security number entered does not match the one the employee provided in Section 1 you will not be able to move forward until it is corrected.
Section 3 of the Form has now been moved to Page 3 and like Section 2, the Employee’s name must be written on the top of the page, however, if the form it completed via the computer it will be pre-populated for you.
Here is a brief highlight of all of the forms changes as well as enhancements.
Changes to the form include:
- Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” and streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals.
- The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly
- The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators.
- A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins.
- A supplemental page for the preparer/translator.
- Drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates
- On-screen instructions for each field
- Easy access to the full instructions and
- An option to clear the form and start over.
USCIS attempted to make the form more computer-friendly, however paper forms are still completely acceptable and Employers can continue that practice, if it is a part of their regular onboarding protocols.