The most current version of the I-9 form is now available (www.uscis.gov) and employers must use only this version beginning on January 22, 2017. Some of the key changes to the form include the following:
- Section 1 – Now asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used”
- The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly
- The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators
- A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins
- A supplemental page for the preparer/translator
On November 17, 2016, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) held a conference call during which officials shared additional valuable information that should be of interest to employers regarding this new I-9 form. As USCIS explained:
- In Section 1, it asks employees to enter Other Last Names Used. If an employee has never used any other last name, they must write N/A. Do not leave it blank.
- Also in Section 1, USCIS no longer expressly prohibits a P.O. Box address for employees. If an employee enters a P.O. Box number, that would not be considered a violation.
- It is okay for employees to complete Section 1 by hand and for the employer to complete Section 2 electronically.
- When entering an alien number, make sure it has the letter A before the number so it is not confused with a USCIS number.
- The electronic signature function is not allowed on this version of the I-9 form. But if you use a third party vendor or some other system that allows you to sign electronically, this is acceptable as long as it complies with the regulations.
- A revised version of the Handbook for Employers (M-274) will be available in Jan. 2017. This document will be your best guide on everything related to the Form I-9, so be on the lookout for it!
Please remember that rules and guidance relating to the Form I-9 is constantly evolving, so it is very important to stay abreast of the latest updates. Violations with regard to preparing I-9 forms are easy to make, and can add up and get expensive fast. Proceed carefully, keep up on updates, and reach out for help and advice when you have questions.