Updates to Form I-9 Effective August 1, 2023
By: Julie Solis-Alvarado
The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services is set to publish a revised Form I-9 on August 1, 2023. The old Form I-9 may be used through October 31, 2023, after which employers will be subject to penalties.
The revised Form I-9 follows from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognizing the end of temporary Covid policies that allowed for virtual verification of Form I-9 documents. As the Covid policies come to an end, DHS authorized optional alternatives for employers to continue virtual verification of Form I-9 documents. The revised Form I-9 includes a checkbox that allows employers who were enrolled in E-Verify and in good standing to indicate they remotely examined identifying and employment authorization documents. In order to utilize the remote examination option, employers must be enrolled in E-Verify, perform remote verifications though live video interview, retain copies of all documents, and create a case in E-Verify if the employee is new.
Overview of Updates:
- Combined fields in Sections 1 and 2, resulting in a single-sided sheet without removing any previous fields.
- Created Supplement A as a standalone attachment when a preparer or translator is used for Section 1.
- Created Supplement B as a standalone attachment when rehire occurs or reverification is necessary.
- Added a checkbox and provided instructions for eligible employers to examine employee’s Form I-9 documentation in alternative authorized procedures such as virtual verification.
The revised Form I-9 also shortened the instructions from 15 pages to 8 pages and confirmed that the form can be downloaded and filled out on tablets and smartphones. The revised form included an updated Lists of Acceptable Documents and moved the abbreviations chart to the Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9. Additional small changes and clarifications were made to the form such as “alien authorized to work” was replaced with “noncitizen authorized to work” and “noncitizen national” was distinguished from “noncitizen authorized to work.” DHS also included an updated notice explaining to employers how to avoid discrimination in the Form I-9 process.
Instructions to Complete the Revised Form:
Section 1 should be completed at the time of hire as it gathers identifying information about the new employee such as whether they are a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national, lawful permanent resident, or noncitizen authorized to work in the United States. Additionally, Supplement A needs to be completed if a new employee uses preparers and/or translators to assist in the completion of Section 1.
Section 2 is required to be completed within three days of hiring and collects an employee’s employment authorization and identity. The employer must review original documentation of both an employee’s employment authorization and identity. The employer is required to fill out Supplement B prior to the date a worker’s employment authorization expires, when reverification is necessary, or rehire occurs. Additionally, name changes can also be recorded on Supplement B.
Employers should maintain an employee’s Form I-9 for as long as the employee is employed and for the required retention period after the termination of employment. Additionally, employers should update or correct any Form I-9 mistakes so that upon inspection by DHS, the U.S. Department of Justice, or the U.S. Department of Labor, employers can avoid facing civil penalties and, in some cases, criminal penalties when failing to comply.
If you have any questions about your business, your employees, or immigration compliance, please contact me or your BrownWinick Employment & Labor attorney. We are here to offer trusted legal advice and add value to any matter, including those with complex and novel issues. Special thanks to summer associate Allie Gilchrist for her assistance with this blog.