Don’t Forget to Use New Form I-9

Form I-9 Revised
You must sign and date the form by hand.

This past November, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Form I-9. Employers were given a grace period before they were required to use the new form. But that grace period expires soon!

By January 22, employers must only use the new Form I-9 with the revision date of 11/14/2016 N. Prior versions of the form, including the version dated 03/08/2013, will be unacceptable.

Employers should familiarize themselves with the changes to the new form.

Many of the changes were implemented to help reduce technical errors. The form has various “smart” features designed to identify errors made when completing the form.

The form was also revised to help make it easier to complete on a computer.

Although the form is easier to fill out on a computer, it does not meet the requirements for electronic forms under Department of Homeland Security regulations, and, therefore, can’t be electronically signed. The form can be filled out on a computer, but a hard copy of the form must still be printed out, and the employee and employer representative must sign and date the form by hand. An employer then has the option of scanning the form for I-9 electronic storage purposes.

There are also substantive content changes to the form. For example, Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” a change which could help protect the privacy of transgender individuals and others who have changed their first name. There are also changes to Section 2.

The instructions for completing the Form I-9 are now separate from the form. The instructions alone are 15 pages long. Employer representatives who are responsible for ensuring completion of the Forms I-9 should review the revised instructions.

There is also now a supplemental page that may be used if extra space is needed to document that more than one preparer and/or translator assisted an employee in completing Section 1 of the Form I-9. Review the Form I-9 Instructions for additional information regarding when to use this form.

Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Employment Law Counsel/Content

CalChamber has added the new Form I-9 English and Spanish version to their website for free along with the Instructions for Form I-9 and the Form I-9 Supplement. Not a member? Learn more about what HRCalifornia can do for you.

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