The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have announced the release of a new version of the Form I-9. Employers are required to use Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of all employees.
A newly released final rule and Federal Register notice amends existing employment eligibility verification regulations by making significant changes to Form I-9 and its instructions, including allowing employers who participate in E-Verify – and are in good standing – the option to conduct document verification electronically and through live video call interaction.
Beginning August 1, 2023, employers who participate in E-Verify will now be able to use a newly added checkbox on the Form I-9 to indicate that an employee’s documentation was examined using a DHS-authorized alternative procedure (e.g., remote verification). In addition to the alternate procedures’ checkbox, the new Form I-9 has been reduced to two sections and two supplements:
- Section 1: Collects, at the time of hire, identifying information about the employee (and preparer or translator if used), and requires the employee to attest to whether the employee is a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national, lawful permanent resident, or noncitizen authorized to work in the United States.
- Section 2: Collects, within three days of the employee’s hire, identifying information about the employer and information regarding the employee’s identity and employment authorization. The employee must present original documentation evidencing the employee’s identity and employment authorization, which the employer must review.
- Supplement A (Preparer and/or Translator Certification for Section 1): Completed when employees have preparers and/or translators assist them in completing Section 1 of Form I-9.
- Supplement B (Reverification and Rehire (formerly Section 3)): Primarily used to verify the continued employment authorization of the employee. This Supplement is completed prior to the date that the employee’s employment authorization and/or employment authorization documentation recorded in either Section 1 or Section 2 of the form expires, if applicable. This Supplement may also be used if the employee is rehired within 3 years of the date of the initial completion of the form and to record a name change.
Other significant changes to the form and its instructions include:
- Reduction of Sections 1 and 2 to a single-sided sheet.
- Removal of Sections 1 and 3 into separate standalone supplements (A and B referenced above).
- Ensuring the ability to fill out the form on tablets and mobile devices.
- Revised Lists of Acceptable Documents to include some acceptable receipts as well as guidance and links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation.
- Streamlined steps taken to complete each section of the form.
- Instructions for use of the new checkbox for employers who choose to examine documentation under an alternative procedure.
Click here for a complete list of all changes.
The new alternate review procedures and updated Form I-9 will be available for use beginning August 1, 2023. [i] The prior version of Form I-9 (Rev. 10/21/19) continues to be effective through October 31, 2023.
Employers are required to retain Forms I-9 for as long as an individual works for the employer and for the required retention period after the termination of an individual’s employment (i.e., either 3 years after the date of hire or 1 year after the date employment ended, whichever is later).
Employers are also required to make employees’ Forms I-9 available for inspection upon request by DHS officers, the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division), and the Department of Labor. Failure to ensure proper completion and retention of Forms I-9 may subject an employer to civil money penalties, and, in some cases, criminal penalties.
[i] Employers who do not participate in E-Verify have until August 30, 2023 to perform all required physical examination of identity and employment authorization documents for those individuals hired on or after March 20, 2020, and who have received only a virtual or remote examination under the COVID-19 temporary flexibilities.