USCIS has published a revised Form I-9 that employers can begin to use immediately. The old Form I-9 that has the revision date of 03/08/13 can be used until January 22, 2017.
USCIS published two versions of the Form I-9 – one form that can be completed on a computer, and another that is the traditional PDF version that can be printed and completed.
The USCIS hosted a teleconference today that explained some of the updates to the form. During the teleconference, the following issues were addressed:
- The USCIS explained that P.O. Boxes are no longer expressly prohibited in section 1 information about the employee. However, employers cannot use a P.O. Box for their addresses in section 2 of the form.
- The new form is only required for new hires or for re-verifying employee’s information. It is not required for current employees who completed the old Form I-9 to complete the revised Form I-9.
- On the teleconference there were a number of questions about the application of e-signatures when completing the I-9. During the teleconference, the USCIS deferred answering any specific questions about e-signature options. However, the Handbook for Employers provides the following:
If you complete Forms I-9 electronically using an electronic signature, your system for capturing electronic signatures must allow signatories to acknowledge that they read the attestation and attach the electronic signature to an electronically completed Form I-9. The system must also:
1. Affix the electronic signature at the time of the transaction;
2. Create and preserve a record verifying the identity of the person producing the signature; and
3. Upon request of the employee, provide a printed confirmation of the transaction to the person providing the signature.
Employers who complete Forms I-9 electronically must attest to the required information in Section 2 of Form I-9.
During the teleconference, it was stressed by USCIS that electronic signatures are acceptable given that the software complies with the USCIS regulations.
- Do employers have to provide the instructions to the employee when presented the Form I-9? When on the computer, provide them with internet access so that they can click on the top of the page so that they can review the instructions. If there is no internet access, you have to provide the instructions to the employee – print or download the instructions for the employee to read the 15 pages of instructions.
Finally, a note of caution for employers who retain copies of Form I-9 documentation. The Handbook for Employers provides that if an employer chooses to retain copies of an employee’s documents, the employer must do so for all employees, regardless of national origin or citizenship status. Failure to keep records for all employees could be in violation of anti-discrimination laws.
For more information, employers can visit the USCIS’ website at: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9