Effective November 1, 2023, a new version of Form I-9, the Employment Eligibility Verification form, is now the proper version to use — which comes with several significant changes. Here are some of the highlights:
Changes to Procedures
Overall, the new Form I-9 is a shorter and easier way for employers to verify their employees’ eligibility to work in the United States, especially for those who work from home or have a mix of in-person and remote work. It now has a checkbox where employers can say they used a special process approved by the Department of Homeland Security to check the employee’s documents. This special process allows employers who use E-Verify and follow the rules to check documents through a live video call. Employers need to keep a copy of these virtual documents, just like they do with documents they check in person.
Importantly, this remote procedure can only be used if employers enroll in E-Verify. While this remote procedure was widely used during the pandemic, it is now restricted only to those employers who have enrolled. If you have not enrolled, then you will have to check the documents in-person which may be more challenging for remote employees.
One Page for Sections 1 and 2
Another change you will see is the reduction of Sections 1 and 2 to a single page. This adjustment is aimed at streamlining the process and making it more user-friendly for employers. While the new format may save time and reduce the chances of errors, it’s vital to ensure that your HR personnel and staff responsible for completing the form are aware of the changes. Consider providing training or updated guidelines to your team to avoid any confusion during the onboarding process.
Reverification and Rehire (formerly Section 3)
The new Form I-9 separates the reverification and rehiring process into a new section, known as Supplement B. This change clarifies and simplifies the procedures for employers, ensuring that you are verifying the eligibility of employees who have expired work authorization documents or are rehired. It can be used in some other limited cases; for example, it may be used if an employee is rehired within three years of the initial completion of the form.
Preparer/Translator Certification for Section 1
The Preparer/Translator Certification, previously in Section 1, has been moved to a separate page called Supplement A. This change doesn’t significantly alter the process, but it’s essential to ensure that the person completing Section 1 is aware of the change in location.
Elimination of Response “N/A” in Section 1
The new Form I-9 eliminates the need to write “N/A” in unused Section 1 fields, such as “Other Last Names Used” and “Apt. Number.” This change aims to simplify the form and reduce the likelihood of errors.
The Lists of Acceptable Documents page has been revised to include acceptable receipts in addition to physical documents. There is now an “Anti-Discrimination Notice” discussing how to avoid liability for discrimination in the I-9 process.
What Employers Should Do
- Immediately start using this new form. Employers that use the old form are subject to penalties.
- Provide training to your HR team with the updated Form I-9 and its requirements.
- Audit your process from time to time to make sure that the process is being followed.