Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in a Notice in the Federal Register, published proposed changes to the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). The comment period ends on January 25, 2015.
The majority of the proposed changes are expected to decrease technical errors and enable applicants to complete the Form I-9 on a computer. In its proposed form, the Form I-9 would:
- Check certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly;
- Provide additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators;
- Provide instructions on the screen that users can access to complete each field;
- Provide a dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form;
- Include drop-down lists and calendars;
- Include buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form to start over;
- Generate a quick-response matrix barcode (QR code) once the form is printed and can be used to streamline audit processes;
- Require employees to provide only other last names used in Section 1, rather than all other names used;
- Streamline the certification in Section 1 for certain foreign nationals; and
- Separate the instructions from the form to bring the form in line with USCIS’ practices.
The Bottom Line. Although the proposed Form I-9 is still in the comment period, it is important for employers to take notice of these changes. If and when the Form I-9 changes, employers will be required to use the new Form I-9.