For its proposed 13th iteration, the I-9 form is getting “smart” new features. The suggested changes to the form from the Department of Homeland Security include:
- Validation of certain fields to ensure the entered information is correct;
- Helpful on-screen text for various fields;
- Space to enter more than one preparer or translator;
- Drop-down menu for the list of acceptable documents to cut down on entry errors;
- A dedicated notes area for information employers now have to note in the margins;
- A QR code to facilitate ICE audit reviews;
- Replacement of the “other names used” field with “other last names” used; and
- Provision of either I-94 or foreign passport, instead of both.
While the “smart” form will facilitate on-screen data entry and completion of the Form I-9, it is not an electronic form. After completion, employers not using an electronic I-9 system will have to print out the Form I-9 for signature by the foreign national and the employer.
Public comments on the revisions will be accepted through January 25, 2016, here. After USCIS reviews the comments and makes changes it deems appropriate, it will publish a second notice in the Federal Register. After that, the public has 30 days to provide comment before the regulation becomes final.
The current I-9 form expires on March 31, 2016. After that date, USCIS will have to extend the validity of the current form or introduce its new form.