The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released a new, simplified Form I-9 for employers to use when verifying the identity and employment authorization of new employees. This form, available for download on August 1, 2023, is easier to fill out, especially on mobile devices, and it can be downloaded from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services I-9 website. The form has been shortened and streamlined, and it should make the new hire paperwork process smoother for employers! Employers may continue to use the old Form I-9 (Rev. 10/21/19) through Oct. 31, 2023. But starting November 1, 2023 – beware of penalties if you have not transitioned to the updated form.
The USCIS website lists the following updates:
- 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; and
- 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.
Employers can start using this new form as of August 1, 2023, but it’s not mandatory until November 1, 2023. Current employees who have correctly filled out the previous version of Form I-9 don’t need to complete the new form. For employers who use E-Verify, the DHS also now allows the remote review of an employee’s identity and employment authorization documents. To do this, the employer must be an E-Verify user, must examine and keep copies of all documents, have a live video chat with the employee, and create an E-Verify case if the employee is a new hire. This new policy comes after a period of flexibility allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers using E-Verify can meet physical document requirements using this new procedure by August 30, 2023. Non-E-Verify employers will still need to perform an in-person physical inspection of documents by the same date.