In November of 2016, USCIS released the new I-9 Form for 2017. Employers are permitted to use the former version (revised March 2013) through January 21 of 2017. After that date, they must change over to using the newest version. Storage and document retention rules for the previously completed forms haven’t changed.
New I-9 Form More Computer Friendly
Because so many employers and staffing agencies now onboard new hires digitally, USCIS has updated the form to be easier to fill out in an online version. For example, the new form has a number of prompts included that make it simpler for applicants to fill out the document without making errors. Lists and calendars are available as drop down options so new hires can select dates and items. Instructions are included for each field on the screen as well. If the form needs to be redone, a single click will clear all information and allow the employee to start again. New hires can also readily access the entire instruction section as needed.
Clarification on Name Fields
As employers know, older versions of the I-9 Form sometimes made it difficult for new hires of many cultures to fill out the information accurately. For example, not all naming traditions use a first, middle, and last name. Many have more than one last name or surname. Individuals who have married or made a name change for other reasons may also have more than one last name that they use or have used in the past. The field that formerly listed “other names used” has now been clarified to ask for “other last names used.”
The new I-9 Form for 2017 also provides a supplemental page for the preparer/translator and the option to enter multiple agents in these roles. Additional information can now be entered in a designated area rather than being noted in the margins. These updates may make it easier for employers to explain any special circumstances and clear up confusion, reducing the likelihood of triggering a tentative mismatch in the system.
A Nod to Digital Form Management
As a bonus, a QR code is now automatically generated if the I-9 Form is printed, giving employers another way to digitally track and file documents. Of course, this feature is not needed for employers who have gone fully paperless with their onboarding. Employers will need to use a version of I-9 that includes electronic signatures. This feature is included in our forms for easy online management and integration with E-Verify to help businesses go virtual with their I-9 processing. To learn more, contact our team today.