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November 15, 2016

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification yesterday, November 14, 2016. By Jan. 22, 2017, employers must use only the new version, dated 11/14/2016. Until then, they can continue to use the version dated 03/08/2013N or the new version.

Here are some of the most noticeable changes on the new I-9 Form:

• Section 1: Employee Information and Attestation, now requests “Other Last Names Used” rather than “Other Names Used”.

• 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.

In addition, the instructions have been separated from the form, in line with other USCIS forms, and include specific instructions for completing each field.

Also, a big plus for you is that the revised Form I-9 is easier to complete on a computer. Some improvements 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. Another great enhancement is when you print the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers.

CURIOUS WHAT THE PURPOSE OF THE FORM I-9 IS? According to USCIS, the Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. As a U.S. employer, you must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual you hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization and present his or her employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form. Employers must retain Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers.


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