At Last…the New Form I-9 is Released, Effective August 1st
Today, July 25, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) published formal notice of a new streamlined and shortened Form I-9 effective August 1, 2023. While employers may continue to use the current version through October 31, 2023, fines will be levied if the new Form is not used (for both new hires and reverifications) after that date. The new version will not be available on the USCIS website for downloading until August 1st.
As before, Section 1 collects information about the employee and requires the employee to attest to whether they are a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national, lawful permanent resident or noncitizen authorized to work in the United States. Section 1 is completed by the employee. Section 2 continues to collect information about the employee’s identity and employment authorization and is completed by the employer. However, other aspects of the Form have changes. The preparer and/or translator section is now a separate supplement, Supplement A. Reverification has moved out of the basic form to a Supplement B when rehire occurs or reverification is required. Supplement B also may be used to record a name change.
The result is a return to a one-page form. While none of the existing fields were removed, some have been merged into fewer fields and others are now the separate, standalone supplements, which employers can provide to employees when necessary then attach to the Form as needed.
A few welcome changes include changing “alien authorized to work” to “noncitizen authorized to work” and removal of the requirement to enter N/A in certain fields. DHS also added a box that eligible employers must check if the employee’s Form I-9 documentation is examined under a DHS-authorized alternative procedure rather than via physical examination, a procedure DOL also announced last week.
In addition, the List of Acceptable Documents now includes some acceptable receipts as well as guidance and links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation.
Once the new Form, List, and Instructions are available, we will provide more information on these changes.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) also issued a final rule stating that it will create a framework under which employers can implement “alternative document examination procedures”, such as a form of remote document examination allowed during the pandemic. Part of this framework is the added box on the new Form to indicate when an employee’s Form I-9 documentation was examined using a DHS-authorized alternative procedure. The alternative procedure will only be available to employers that use E-Verify and are in good standing on August 1, 2023. The rule does leave room for permanent remote examinations to become a reality for all employers at some point.