On November 24, 2015, USCIS published a notice in the Federal Register [80 FR 73200] of proposed changes to the Form I-9, thereby initiating a 60 day public comment period through January 25, 2015.  The proposed changes aim to reduce the commission of technical errors on the Form I-9 and increase functionality for customers in completing the form on their computer as downloaded from the USCIS website.

Some of the proposed technical changes include preferences whereby the form:

  • Assists the customer by checking the fields to ensure information has been entered properly.
  • Offers additional space to enter multiple preparers and translators; additional space to enter further information that employers are currently required to note in the margins of the form.
  • Features drop-down lists and calendars.
  • Generates a quick-response matrix barcode (or QR code) once the form is printed — this can be used in the audit process.
  • Provides instructions to help the customer complete each field.

Some of the proposed substantive changes include:

  • Section 1:  instead of requiring employees to provide all other names used, only require other last names used.
  • Section 1:  streamline the certification for certain foreign nationals.
  • Instructions:  adhering to USCIS’ practice by separating the instructions from the form itself.
  • Instructions:  revise explanation of purpose of form for employers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands (CNMI).
  • Instructions:   clarify instructions for completing the form for both employers and employees and the proper use of the Spanish version of the form.

Stakeholders wanting to submit a comment may do so by following the steps below:

  • Visit the website: http://www.regulations.gov
  • Enter the code in the search box: USCIS-2006-0068
  • Click the button: Comment Now!
  • Note: comments submitted will be posted and will include any personal information provided

At the conclusion of the 60 day public comment period, USCIS may make revisions to the Form I-9 based on comments received and will publish a second notice for comment.  The public will have an additional 30 day period to provide comment on the proposed changes.  USCIS will keep the public apprised of the comment periods and any changes to the Form I-9 through their site: I-9 Central.