U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification for employer use. Starting Jan. 22, 2017, employers must use only the new version of the Form I-9 with the 11/14/2016N date. Prior to Jan. 22, 2017, employers may use either the new version or the prior version, which is dated 03/08/2016N.

The Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. Employers are required to complete the form for all new employees within three days of hire.

According to USCIS, the revised form is designed to help reduce errors by making it easier to complete on a computer by those who choose to do so. New features of the 11/14/2016N version of the form include:

  • The addition of clickable instructions icons in the electronic version of the form;
  • Drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates in the electronic version of the form;
  • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators in the electronic version of the form;
  • A dedicated space to add additional information for certain types of employees in place of using the margins of the form;
  • The generation of a quick response (QR) code upon printing a form completed on a computer;
  • The separation of the Form I-9 Instructions from the form. Notably, USCIS has not yet updated its more comprehensive guidance for completing the Form I-9, the M-274 Handbook for Employers since 2013.

In addition to utilizing the new version of the form on or before Jan. 22, 2017, employers should look closely at their Form I-9 training, compliance, and internal audit processes because the government’s emphasis on worksite enforcement through Form I-9 investigations is expected to intensify during the incoming Trump Administration.