The New I-9 Form is Here and Must be Used Exclusively Beginning January 22, 2017

After almost nine months of delay, the new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, has been released by the Department of Homeland Security. There is a short grace period during which both the old Form I-9 (expiration date 03/31/2016) and the new Form I-9 (expiration 08/31/2019) can be used, but come January 22, 2017, only the new form can be used. Once you reach the I-9 page on, click on the first bullet to download the Form I-9 in PDF.  Of note, you will need Adobe Reader 8 or higher to download the PDF and complete it. You may also download the new paper version of the I-9 by clicking on the second bullet (Form I-9 Paper Version).

First, the I-9 has been separated from its instructions and is now a three-page stand-alone document with the third page devoted exclusively to lists of acceptable documents.

Second, the new I-9 is much more computer-friendly and envisions being filled in on a computer screen. Prompts have been incorporated in an effort to ensure that information is entered correctly and this includes the use of drop-down lists and calendars. On-screen instructions for each field are readily available. Further, an option is now available to clear all data and start over.

Third, from a visual standpoint, the new I-9 looks strikingly similar to the existing I-9, but there are a number of changes.  In Section 1, the emphasis is now on “other last names used” by the employee as opposed to “other names used.”  Also, option number 4 (“an alien authorized to work . . .”) has been tweaked to provide greater clarification that only one of three different types of information is required here.  And, toward the bottom of Section 1, an affirmative response must be provided as to whether a preparer or translator was involved in the completion of this section.

In Section 2, the big change is a box is now dedicated for “supplementation information,” which means information previously squeezed in margins can now be located here. Finally, all “date” references from the existing I-9 are now identified as “today’s date” leaving little wiggle room as to what is to be entered.

Should you have any question about this new I-9 form or the existing form or how to handle any issue for I-9 purposes, we are here to answer your questions and offer help and guidance.