The current version of the Form I-9 expires on October 31, 2022, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced big potential changes to the new form. 

What is the Form I-9? The Form I-9 is a document used by all U.S. employers to record employment eligibility verification. It is required by federal law. 

The I-9 must be handled with precision and individual attention. I-9 errors (including using an out-of-date I-9) may result in heavy fines and penalties—even if there are no illegal hires. 

With the proposed changes, USCIS is trying to simplify the process. The proposed changes include: 

  • The Form I-9 is being reduced to 1 page.  
  • Section 3 will now be a separate Reverification and Rehire Supplement- a “stand alone” document. 
  • There will be clarified reverification and rehire instructions directly on the form. 
  • The List of Acceptable Documents will be updated to include a link to the List C resource in the regulations at 8 CFR 274a.2(b)(1)(v)(A-C).  
  • The onerous “N/A” requirement is eliminated by clarifying that fields that do not apply may be left blank.

The most unusual feature of the Form I-9 is the requirement that a company employee or authorized representative must certify the information provided in person. However, USCIS provided flexibility on the “in-person” requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic while employees were working remotely. Employers hoped that the flexibility on “in-person” verifications might be continued beyond COVID-19. But there is nothing about that flexibility on the new form.

Under the COVID-19 remote verification rules, and while a burden, employers who previously used remote verification must now conduct in-person verification of anyone hired on or after March 20, 2020. Employers are encouraged to begin the required in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for remote employees as soon as possible.

The comment period on the new Form I-9 proposed changes is now closed. It is highly likely that the proposed changes will be adopted by USCIS and we expect a final version of the new Form I-9 to be revealed soon.

Have questions about the new Form I-9? Don’t worry—we are here to help!

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