USCIS has released a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Employers should now start using the new 11/14/2016 version, which will become mandatory on January 22, 2017. Until then, employers may use the 03/08/2013 version. By January 22, 2017, employers must use the new Form I-9 for all new hires, and also for reverifying any existing employees who require reverification of their work authorization. For reverifying an existing employee, the employer must complete Section 3 of the new version and attach it to the employee’s existing I-9. The issuance of the new I-9 version does NOT compel an employer to complete brand new I-9s for its entire existing workforce in a blanket fashion.

The new version does not change the substantive questions or the list of acceptable identity and work authorization documents.

The new Form I-9 was designed to be easier to fill out on a computer. It features interactive form fields, including drop-down menus and calendars; embedded instructions; and the automatic generation of a quick response (QR) code when printed. If an employer uses the PDF on the USCIS website, it must be printed and signed by hand. Employers who complete and retain I-9 records using qualifying third-party software may continue to use the electronic signature function of that software.

USCIS has released new comprehensive instructions on how to complete the Form I-9. Notable changes include:

  • Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used.”
  • Preparers and translators must now certify their assistance, and there is a Supplement page to record multiple assistants.
  • A dedicated box has been added for additional information, inserting document information from qualifying documents not listed on the List of Acceptable Documents, explanatory notes, and updates, rather than having to write them in the margins.
  • Prompts and a validation feature help users avoid improperly filling fields or leaving a mandatory field blank.
  • A Spanish version of the form has been created for use in Puerto Rico only.