Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in a Notice in the Federal Register, published proposed changes to the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).[1] The comment period ends on January 25, 2015.

The majority of the proposed changes are expected to decrease technical errors and enable applicants to complete the Form I-9 on a computer. In its proposed form, the Form I-9 would:

  • Check certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly;
  • Provide additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators;
  • Provide instructions on the screen that users can access to complete each field;
  • Provide a dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form;
  • Include drop-down lists and calendars;
  • Include buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form to start over;
  • Generate a quick-response matrix barcode (QR code) once the form is printed and can be used to streamline audit processes;
  • Require employees to provide only other last names used in Section 1, rather than all other names used;
  • Streamline the certification in Section 1 for certain foreign nationals; and
  • Separate the instructions from the form to bring the form in line with USCIS’ practices.

The Bottom Line. Although the proposed Form I-9 is still in the comment period, it is important for employers to take notice of these changes. If and when the Form I-9 changes, employers will be required to use the new Form I-9. If you have any questions or would like our assistance with Form I-9 compliance, please call or email Practice Co-Chair Jed Marcus.

[1] A Form I-9 verifies the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. United States employers are required to be complete a Form I-9 for every United States employee hired. The current Form I-9 may be found here.

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