What Employers Need to Know About the New Form I-9
On August 1, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the new version of Form I-9. Employers can use the previous version through October 31, 2023, but all employers must use the revised Form I-9 starting November 1, 2023. This new form is scheduled to expire on July 31, 2026.
Key New Changes to the Form I-9
- Reduced Sections 1 and 2 to a single page, down from two pages. No previous fields were removed, but multiple fields were merged into fewer fields where possible.
- Reduced length of instructions from 15 pages to 8 pages.
- Moved Section 1, Preparer/Translator Certification area to a separate, standalone supplement (Supplement A) that employers can provide to employees when necessary.
- Moved Section 3, Reverification and Rehire, to a separate, standalone supplement (Supplement B) that employers can print out when necessary.
- Removed use of “alien authorized to work” in Section 1 and replaced it with “noncitizen authorized to work” as well as clarified the difference between “noncitizen national” and “noncitizen authorized to work”.
- New form design allows it to be fillable on tablets and mobile devices.
- Removed the requirement to enter N/A in certain fields.
- Revised the Lists of Acceptable Documents page to include some acceptable receipts as well as guidance and links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation.
- Added a box that eligible employers (i.e., users of E-Verify, in good standing) must check if the employee’s Form I-9 documentation was examined under a newly authorized virtual procedure.
Remote Verification Allowed for E-Verify Participants
Giving employers the ability to virtually inspect and verify employment authorization documents has been a long-awaited change that employers have long been asking for. On July 21, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a final rule that provides eligible employers with an optional remote employment verification procedure.
To be able to participate in the remote examination of Form I-9 documents, employers must be enrolled in E-Verify (and be in good standing) and must do all of the following:
- Conduct a live video interaction with the employee during the verification process to examine and ensure that the I-9 documentation “reasonably appears to be genuine”.
- Retain “clear and legible” copies of all documents (front and back of any double-sided documents).
- Check a box on the new version of the Form I-9 indicating that an alternative procedure was used to examine I-9 documentation (or, if using the previous version, the employer must write “alternative procedure” in the Additional Information field in Section 2).
- Create an E-Verify case if the employee is a new hire.
How does this affect the upcoming deadline – August 30, 2023 – for the physical document examination requirement of documents examined virtually during the COVID-19 flexibilities timeframe?
Employers who were participating in E-Verify and created cases for employees whose documents were examined virtually due to the COVID-19 flexibilities (between March 20, 2020 and July 31, 2023) may choose to use the new alternative procedure to satisfy the physical document examination requirement by August 30, 2023. However, employers who were not enrolled in E-Verify during the COVID-19 flexibilities timeframe listed above must complete an in-person physical examination by August 30, 2023.
This article is not a comprehensive list of all changes to the Form I-9 and should not be considered legal advice.
- SHRM HR Daily Alert, 8/1/2023. “New Form I-9 Available Now”, by Roy Maurer, August 1, 2023.
- SHRM HR Daily Newsletter, 7/24/2023. “What Employers Should Know About the Updated Form I-9”, by Leah Shepherd, July 24, 2023.
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