A new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, was published on November 14, 2016, and can be found here. Employers may continue using the current Form I-9 dated “03/08/2013 N” through January 21, 2017.

Starting on January 22, 2017, all U.S. employers will be required to use the new version of the Form I-9 to verify the identity and work authorization of new-hire employees. For re-hires and reverification of certain employees, employers must complete Section 3 of a new Form I-9 and attach it to the previously completed Form I-9. Employers do not need to replace existing I-9s with the new Form I-9, it is only required for new hires and for the re-hires and reverification explained above.

The new Form I-9 includes several "smart" enhancements which implement error-checking features, dropdown menus, calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructional text for certain fields, and a quick response (QR) code that appears once the form is printed. Some of the changes in this new version also include:

  • Section 1 asks for “other last names used” instead of “other names used”
  • Prompts to ensure information is entered correctly
  • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators
  • A dedicated area for including additional information
  • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator

Employers can either print the new Form I-9 and complete it by hand or complete it directly on the federal government's website and then print it out. Either way, employers must save a copy of the completed and signed I-9 form for the required retention period. Note that although the new I-9 can be completed on the government website before it is printed out, this does not constitute an electronic I-9 form, as contemplated by the I-9 regulations. An electronic I-9 is created using compliant I-9 software and is stored electronically.

Since 1986, U.S. employers have been required by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) to complete and retain I-9 forms to verify the identity and employment authorization of employees. Failure to properly complete and retain an I-9 form, as required for each employee, can subject an employer to severe fines and penalties.