October 10, 2023
The Form I-9 is a required document that employers in the United States must use to verify the identity and employment eligibility of new hires, regardless of their citizenship status. The employee, the employer, or the authorized representative must accurately complete this form to avoid legal penalties.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated the Form I-9 on August 1, 2023, and it will become mandatory for all employers to use after October 31, 2023. This updated form is intended to improve the verification process and includes several enhancements, such as a checkbox for employers enrolled in E-Verify for remote verification.
What Has Changed?
The revised Form I-9 presents several changes to simplify and improve the verification process and reduce completion time.
Form I-9 Changes:
- Reduced Sections 1 and 2 to a single sheet without removing previous fields. Multiple fields have been merged into fewer fields when possible.
- Separated Section 1 Preparer/Translator Certification area into a separate Supplement A. This supplement provides three areas for current and future preparers and translators to complete as needed. Employers may attach additional supplements as needed.
- Moved Section 3, Reverification and Rehire, to a standalone Supplement B that employers can use as needed for rehire or reverification.
- This supplement provides four areas for current and subsequent reverifications, and employers may attach additional supplements as necessary.
- Removed the use of “alien authorized to work” in Section 1 and replaced it with “noncitizen authorized to work,” clarifying the difference between “noncitizen national” and “noncitizen authorized to work.”
- The Lists of Acceptable Documents now provide improved guidance, including some acceptable receipts, guidance, and links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation.
- Certain features have been removed to ensure that the latest version of the form can be easily downloaded. This also eliminates the requirement to enter N/A in certain fields.
- Reduced guidance and instructions from 15 pages to 8 pages.
- The instructions now define key actors in the Form I-9 process while streamlining each actor’s steps when completing their section.
- Designed to be used on tablets and mobile devices, ensuring employers can easily download and fill out the form efficiently.
- Includes a checkbox for E-Verify employers to indicate when they have remotely examined Form I-9 documents. This will make it easier for employers to comply with remote verification requirements.
How can employers participate in the remote examination of Form I-9?
One of the significant updates on the new Form I-9 is the inclusion of a checkbox that allows employers enrolled in the E-Verify system to attest that they remotely examined their employees’ identity and employment authorization documents under an alternative procedure authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 21, 2023, as an optional alternative method in examining Form I-9 documentation, especially amid the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participating in the remote examination of Form I-9:
- Enroll in E-Verifyif they have not previously participated in E-Verify.
- Conduct a live video call with the employee to remotely examine I-9 documents.
- Select the Form I-9 to use and annotate.
- Retain all copies of all I-9 documents remotely examined with the employee’s Form I-9.
- Create a case in E-Verify.
Visit the “Enrolling in E-Verify” page for comprehensive resources and guides on the steps you need to follow to register and set up your account on the platform. During the enrollment process, you’ll be required to provide various information, such as your company name, mailing address, and contact information.
Overall, the new version of Form I-9 represents significant improvements. The changes will make the verification process more accessible, time-efficient, and less frustrating for both employees and employers. The current Form I-9 (edition date 10/21/19) can be used until October 31, 2023, however, starting November 1, 2023, all employers must use the new Form I-9 (edition date 08/01/23). The new Form I-9 is available for download below.
- Updated Form I-9
- Instructions for Form I-9
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Fine Rule
- Form I-9 Acceptable Documents
- Remote Examination of Documents
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Disclaimer: The purpose of this information is solely to provide general knowledge and should not be construed as legal advice. Consult with your legal counsel to ensure your specific workplace drug testing policies comply with the most current laws and regulations.