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USCIS Releases New I-9 Form To Be Implemented By Employers In January 2017

Published by on December 13, 2016

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a revised version of the I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Starting January 22, 2017, all employers must use only this new version of Form I-9.

The I-9 form is used to document and verify the identity and employment authorization of all employees to work in the United States, including both citizens and non-citizens. On November 14, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a revised version of the I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The instructions in English, a Spanish version of the I-9 form (to be used in Puerto Rico only), and the M-274 Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 may be found here. Starting January 22, 2017, all employers must use only this new version of Form I-9.

Some of the new items of the revised form include:

  • Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used”;
  • the form streamlines certification for some foreign nationals;
  • the addition of prompt to ensure the accuracy of information;
  • additional space to enter multiple preparers and translators;
  • extra space to add additional information; and
  • an extra supplemental page for the preparer/translator.

The new form is designed to be easily completed on a computer. Some of the new features include drop-down lists and calendars to fill in dates, on-screen instructions for fields, and a “clear form” option to start the entire form over.

Employers should keep in mind, the Immigration Reform and Control Act prohibits employers from hiring people, including U.S. citizens, for employment without verifying their identity and employment authorization on the Form I-9. Nonetheless, employers should be wary of discrimination on the basis of citizenship, immigration status or national origin. For example, an employer may not require an employee to provide a specific document with his or her social security number on it. Likewise, employers should not request employees provide more documents than are required by the form, improperly reject documents that reasonably appear genuine, or improperly treat groups of applicants differently when completing the form (e.g. requiring some groups of people to provide different documents than others).

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