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As many of you are aware, the recent I-9 form expired March 31st, 2016, and we all have been anxiously awaiting the release of the new form. Well, the time is here. The White House Office of Management and Budget approved the latest revisions to the Form I-9 on August 25th, 2016.

We know that form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. Now the form includes some ‘smart’ error-checking features, and several new structural changes and instructions. The proposed changes also specifically aim to help employers reduce technical errors, including:

  • Validations on certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly. For example, the form will validate the correct number of digits for a social security number or an expiration date on an identity document.
  • Drop-down lists and calendars.
  • Embedded instructions for completing each field.
  • Buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form to start over.
  • Additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators. If the employee does not use a preparer or translator to assist in completing section 1, he or she must indicate so on a new check box labeled I did not use a preparer or translator.
  • The requirement that workers provide only other last names used, rather than all other names used. This is to avoid possible discrimination issues and to protect the privacy of transgender and other individuals who have changed their first names.
  • The removal of the requirement that immigrants authorized to work provide both their Form I-94 number and foreign passport information.
  • A new Citizenship/Immigration Status
  • A dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form, such as Temporary Protected Status and Optional Practical Training
  • A quick-response matrix barcode, or QR code, that generates once the form is printed to streamline enforcement audits.
  • Separate instructions from the form. Employers are still required to present the instructions to the employee completing the form, however.

Employers may continue using the current version of the form (with a revision date of 03/08/2013) until January 21st, 2017. After January 21st, all previous versions of the Form I-9 will be invalid. Employers should continuously monitor the compliance landscape to keep abreast of regulations and enforcement positions that could affect their I-9 processes. If you have any questions about the new form don’t hesitate to contact your DecisionHR Business Partner.