The current version of the Form I-9 was set to expire on 3/31/2016. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now in the final stage of reviewing their new form, but the form has yet to be officially published and won’t be available for use until after the current form’s expiration date. Until they make the new form available, USCIS has said employers should continue to use the existing form—even after 3/31.
While we don’t know exactly what the final form will look like, we do know that the purpose behind the proposed changes is to create a “smart” version of the form to reduce technical errors and make the form easier to complete on a computer after downloading it.
According to the proposals, the form will include drop-down selection menus for fields such as the acceptable identification documents, calendars, and field checks. These will be useful when the form is completed on a computer. For example, there will likely be an immediate error message if an employee enters too few digits for their social security number or when an employer enters too few digits for a document expiration date. USCIS has also said that the instructions for the form will be clearer to users and there will be “help features” throughout.
However, this proposed “smart” form should not be confused with an electronic I-9 as defined by USCIS. Rather, it will simply assist with form-filling functionality to produce a more accurate and error-free I-9. An employer must still print the completed I-9, obtain the appropriate signatures, and retain the I-9 for the required period.
Be sure to keep an eye out in the coming weeks for an update from us letting you know when the form is available.
Should you have any additional questions regarding this or other employee topics, contact CyQuest today!