New Form I-9 Now Required

Effective Sunday, January 22, 2017, all employers must have completely converted to using the new version of the Form I-9 to verify new employee identification and U.S. employment authorization (for both citizens and non-citizens).  Employers are not required to re-verify existing employees on the new Form I-9, except when an employee’s authorization documents have expired.

It is imperative that all employers use this new Form I-9, as penalties for immigration paperwork violations related to I-9 verification are $216 per violation.  Moreover, under the new administration, HR and immigration professionals expect that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audits may increase.

In some ways, the form is substantively similar to the old (2013) form. The acceptable forms to verify employment remain the same.

Functionally, however, the revised form also has a new fillable interactive electronic platform that flags errors and contains other user-friendly additions such as drop-down lists and additional instructions for specific fields.

The new Form I-9 also has the following changes:

Section 1 – Employee

● Requires users to enter N/A in fields rather than leaving it blank

● Asks for “other last names used,” rather than “other names used”

● Allows foreign workers to provide either the alien registration number, Form I-94 admission number or foreign passport number rather than both their Form I-94 number and passport number

● Allows users to enter multiple preparers and translators (up to five)

● Requires users to indicate that he or she did not use a preparer or translator

● Provides a supplemental page for the preparer/translator

Section 2 – Employer

● When using the electronic form, Section 2 will automatically populate

● Provides a new Citizenship/Immigration status field at the top of Section 2

● Provides an area for additional information such as Temporary Protected Status or Optional Practical Training (OPT) extensions rather than adding it in the margins

● Provides a quick-response (QR) Code once the form is printed that can be used to streamline ICE audits

There are no changes to Section 3.

This form must be printed and signed in ink once complete, unless the employer uses an electronic I-9 vendor.  There are, however, separate instructions for the form and employers are still required to present the instructions to the employee completing the form.  The new form expires on August 31, 2019 and can be found here:

If you have any questions, contact your human resource attorneys at Gould & Ratner.