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The newest version of the Form I-9 is now available, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced.
Employers may continue using the current version of Form I-9 with a revision date of 03/08/2013 until Jan. 21, 2017. After Jan. 21, all previous versions of the Form I-9 will be invalid.
The White House Office of Management and Budget approved the latest revisions to the Form I-9 on Aug. 25, 2016, clearing the way for the form to be released.
"Ever since the current version of the I-9 expired on March 31, 2016, employers have been anxiously awaiting the release of the new form, which will now include some 'smart' error-checking features," said John Fay, vice president and general counsel at LawLogix, a Phoenix-based software company specializing in cloud-based immigration and compliance services. "The newly revised I-9 also features several new structural changes and instructions which will be important for all employers to know and learn."
The new Form I-9 will have an expiration date of Aug. 31, 2019.
Fay said that the Jan. 21 extension to transfer to the new form is "great news for employers, many of whom struggle to stay up-to-date with the latest I-9 changes and requirements."
In 2013, USCIS provided employers with only two months to start using the current version of the form, "hardly enough time for HR to update all of the policy documents, training materials, and procedures which go along with the I-9," Fay said.
Changes to the Form I-9
The new form is designed to address "frequent points of confusion that arise for both employees and employers," Fay said. The proposed changes specifically aim to help employers reduce technical errors for which they may be fined, and include:
"It's important to remember that this new smart I-9 form is not an electronic I-9 as defined in the regulations," Fay said. "Employers filling out the new form I-9 using Adobe Reader will still need to print the form, obtain handwritten signatures, store in a safe place, monitor reverifications and updates with a calendaring system, and retype information into E-Verify as required."
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