Fresno, Calif.- As previously reported here at Datatech, the United States Customs and Immigration Services or USCIS has released the new Form I-9 on their website. The update is designed to make it easier for employee eligibility verification on a computer.
By January 22, 2017, employers must use only the new version, dated 11/14/2016. Until then, they can continue to use the version dated 03/08/2013 or the new version.
Among the changes in the new version, Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” and streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals.
Other changes include:
- The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly.
- The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators.
- A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins.
- A supplemental page for the preparer/translator.
The instructions have been separated from the form, in line with other USCIS forms, and include specific instructions for completing each field.
The revised Form I-9 is also easier to complete on a computer. Enhancements include drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. When the employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers.
Datatech Training Manager, Hannah Tarrats says, “While the new I-9 is a fill in form, this is in the instructions:
‘Employers and employees may choose to complete any or all sections of the form on paper or using a computer, or a
combination of both. Forms I-9 obtained from the USCIS website are not considered electronic Forms I-9 under DHS
regulations and, therefore, cannot be electronically signed. Therefore, regardless of the method you used to enter information
into each field, you must print a hard copy of the form, then sign and date the hard copy by hand where required.’
You’ll note that there are links at the top of the online form to go to the instructions, to start over or print the document. So, a way you can use the online form is to have a computer set up where employees type their information in, then print and sign.”
Form I-9 requirements were established in November 1986 when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). IRCA prohibits employers from hiring people, including U.S. citizens, for employment in the United States without verifying their identity and employment authorization on Form I-9.