On August 1, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will release a new, streamlined Form I-9.
The new form will be available for download on August 1 from the USCIS website. The final rule implementing the changes also allows employers optional alternative procedures for remote examination of documents for some or all employees.
The new edition of the Form I-9 is effective on August 1, 2023. Employers may continue to use the current form (edition date 10/21/2019) until October 31, 2023. All employers must begin using the August 1, 2023, edition of the Form I-9 starting November 1.
Changes to the form include the following:
- Reduces Sections 1 and 2 to a single-sided sheet
- Is designed to be a fillable form on tablets and mobile devices
- Moves the Section 1 Preparer/Translator Certification area to a separate, standalone supplement that employers can provide to employees when necessary
- Moves Section 3, Reverification and Rehire, to a standalone supplement that employers can print if or when rehire occurs or reverification is required
- Revises the Lists of Acceptable Documents page to include some acceptable receipts as well as guidance and links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation
- Reduces Form instructions from 15 pages to 8 pages
- Includes a checkbox allowing employers to indicate they examined Form I-9 documentation remotely under a DHS-authorized alternative procedure rather than via physical examination
Alternative Procedures for Document Examination
The alternative procedures were implemented to meet current workforce needs and allow for qualified employers to exam documents remotely. The alternative procedures for document examination are only available to E-Verify participants in good standing.
An employer may choose to offer the alternative procedure for employees at an E-Verify hiring site, or to remote hires only. If only using the procedure for remote workers, the employer must continue to use physical examination procedures for all onsite or hybrid workers.
Employers currently not using E-Verify will need to enroll if they are interested in using the alternative procedures. New E-Verify employers and any users who manage and create E-Verify cases must complete an E-Verify tutorial that includes fraud awareness and anti-discrimination training.
Within three business days of an employee’s first day of employment, a qualified employer (or an authorized representative acting on the employer's behalf, such as a third-party vendor) who chooses to use the alternative procedure must:
- Examine copies (front and back, if the document is two-sided) of Form I-9 documents or an acceptable receipt to ensure that the documentation presented reasonably appears to be genuine;
- Conduct a live video interaction with the individual presenting the document(s) to ensure that the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and related to the individual. The employee must first transmit a copy of the document(s) to the employer (per Step 1 above) and then present the same document(s) during the live video interaction;
- Indicate on the Form I-9, by completing the corresponding box, that an alternative procedure was used to examine documentation to complete Section 2 or for reverification, as applicable;
- Retain, consistent with applicable regulations, a clear and legible copy (front and back, if the documentation is two-sided) of all documents examined in a paper or electronic format or in an acceptable combination of such formats, for as long as the employee works for the employer and for a specified period after employment ends; and
- In the event of a Form I-9 audit or investigation by a relevant federal government official, make available the clear and legible copies of the identity and employment authorization documentation presented by the employee for document examination in connection with the employment eligibility verification process.
An employer is required to retain all identity and employment authorization documentation examined when using the alternative procedures. Copies retained must be clear and legible. The retention of an employee’s documentation is not required when Form I-9 is completed in person and the documents are physically examined.
Information and guidance for completing Form I-9 is included in the M-274, Handbook for Employers, which contains detailed examples with images of different document types and information about acceptable document combinations, including when supplemental documents are needed to qualify as an acceptable document combination for the Form I-9.
The retention period for Form I-9 remains the same — three years after the date of hire, or for one year after employment ends, whichever is later. Practically, employers can keep all Form I-9 for three years after termination to avoid inadvertent removal before the retention period is met.
Employers should ensure the new form is used for all new hires beginning on August 1, 2023, but no later than November 1, 2023. Additional information on E-Verify is available in the HR Library paper Employment Eligibility Verification (member login required) and on the E-Verify website.
April Mabry oversees HR Services training services, member library products, and the HRX newsletter. She has provided HR training and guidance to Texas public schools since 1991. Mabry was a classroom teacher for 11 years in Texas and Michigan.
Mabry has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan and certification as a professional in human resources (PHR) and is a SHRM-CP.
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