On July 21, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a new version of the I-9 employment eligibility verification form, along with updated instructions. Now only one page long, the new edition of the form should be easier and faster for employees and employers to complete and use. The new form was available for download on Aug. 1, 2023, but employers can technically use the previous form (edition date Oct. 21, 2019) through Oct. 31, 2023.
Additionally, the I-9 document inspection flexibilities put in place during COVID-19 ended on July 31, 2023 — giving employers until Aug. 30, 2023, to complete in-person I-9 document inspection for employees whose documents were inspected remotely during the temporary flexibilities. That said, certain employers can avoid in-person inspections altogether. Here’s what you need to know about the new inspection requirement, as well as the latest version of the I-9 form.
I-9 document inspection requirements
During COVID-19, employers were temporarily permitted to inspect I-9 documents via video, email, fax or another remote method. But these temporary flexibilities are ending. Employers now have until Aug. 30, 2023, to take action — either by physically inspecting documents or reinspecting them remotely. Which option depends on a few factors.
Employers are required to complete a physical document examination for all individuals hired on or after March 20, 2020, who have only had a virtual or remote document examination, unless the employer meets the following criteria:
- The employer performed remote examination of an employees documents between March 20, 2020, and July 31, 2023;
- Were enrolled in E-Verify at the time they completed the Form I-9 for a given employee;
- Created a case in E-Verify for that employee (except for reverification); and
- Are currently enrolled in and continue to participate in E-Verify.
Employers who meet all four requirements are permitted to conduct remote reverification of I-9 documents. Employers who do not meet the requirements must perform an in-person physical examination of documents. As mentioned, the due date for these inspections is Aug. 30, 2023.
What’s changed with the new Form I-9?
The new streamlined and shortened Form I-9 includes the following major changes from the previous edition of the form (Oct. 21, 2019):
- Sections 1 and 2 have been consolidated into fewer fields, creating what is now a one-page form.
- Certain features have been removed to ensure the form can be downloaded more easily, including the previous requirement to enter N/A in certain fields.
- Section 1, Preparer/Translator Certification, was moved to a separate, standalone supplement (Supplement A) that employers can provide to employees when necessary. Employers may attach additional supplements as needed.
- Section 3, Reverification and Rehire, has become a standalone supplement (Supplement B) that employers can print if or when rehire occurs or reverification is required.
- The anti-discrimination notice at the top of the form has been revised to provide employers with clearer guidance on how to avoid discrimination during the verification process.
- The list of acceptable documents was revised to include additional acceptable receipts as well as guidance and links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation.
- A checkbox was added for employers to indicate if they examined Form I-9 documentation remotely under a DHS-authorized alternative procedure rather than via physical examination.
- In Section 1, the language, “alien authorized to work” has been replaced with “noncitizen authorized to work.” A more detailed description of the difference between “noncitizen national” and “noncitizen authorized to work” is also included.
- The form is now compatible with tablets and mobile devices to make it easier for employees to fill out electronically.
Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers are required to complete Form I-9 for each individual they hire, including citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or their authorized representatives) must complete a portion of the form. Employers are required to retain the completed forms for a designated period of time after employees stop working for them (either three years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment ended, whichever is later).
To stay up to speed on the latest Form I-9 developments, please visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at uscis.gov/i-9-central. We also encourage you to follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for I-9 news and more.
Note: This article was updated to contain the most recent information about the I-9 form and requirements.