- The federal government released a new Form I-9 July 17. To prove eligibility to work in the U.S., new hires must complete an I-9 and provide their employers with the identification it requires.
- According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency made a handful of changes to both the instructions and the form itself. Most notably, it added a form of ID (consular report of birth abroad) to the list of documents acceptable to show work eligibility.
- Employers may start using the new form immediately, but must make the switch before Sept. 18.
While the form has been around since the 1980s, its requirements have posed particular problems for employers in recent years. First, the rise in remote work led USCIS to clarify that employers (or their agents) must inspect the required IDs in person.
Businesses also have encountered difficulties when they go above and beyond what the form requires. Some were requesting too many IDs, a problem that USCIS attempted to remedy with an electronic form that prevents employers from selecting more items than the agency requires. And just last month, Panda Express was fined for improper reverification policies.
Finally, the new form comes only months after employers had to adopt the previous version. USCIS’ last I-9 came out in November and employers were required to start using it in January. That form will now expire on Sept. 17; employers may wish to make the switch sooner, however, especially if they will be shifting from the paper form to the electronic version.