USCIS Proposes Changes to Form I-9 Used for Employment Eligibility Verification

 FormI-9

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States – has published a notice in the Federal Register to inform the public of proposed changes to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification used to prove the identity of newly hired employees and confirm their eligibility to work in the United States.

According to the USCIS, many of the proposed changes to the Form I-9 are intended to help reduce technical errors and help customers complete the form on their computer after they have downloaded it from the USCIS website. For instance, the newly proposed Form I-9:

  • Checks certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly;
  • Provides additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators;
  • Includes drop-down lists and calendars;
  • Provides instructions on the screen that users can access to complete each field;
  • Includes buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form to start over;
  • Provides a dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form; and
  • Will generate a quick-response matrix barcode, or QR code, once the form is printed and can be used to streamline audit processes.

Other proposed changes to the current Form I-9 – which is due to expire on March 31, 2016 – include:

  • Requiring employees to provide only other last names used in Section 1, rather than all other names used;
  • Streamlining the certification in Section 1 for certain foreign nationals; and
  • Separating the instructions from the form to bring the form in line with USCIS practices.

The public may provide comments to the USCIS on the proposed changes to the Form I-9 until January 25, 2015. To view the proposed form and instructions, go to the Form I-9 notice at Regulations.gov. To submit a comment, enter  “USCIS-2006-0068” in the search box and click “Comment Now!” button. After completing the necessary fields, click “Submit Comment.”

After January 25, 2015, the USCIS may make changes to the Form I-9 based on comments received and will publish a second notice in the Federal Register. The public will have an additional 30 days to provide comments on proposed changes to the Form I-9. USCIS will notify the public about these comment periods on I-9 Central.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – is a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that helps employers with E-Verify and Form I-9 compliance issues. For more information about E-Verify and Form I-9 services from ESR, please call toll free 888.999.4474 or visit www.esrcheck.com.

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