Employers Told to Continue Using Current Form I-9 Despite March 31 Expiration Date

April 1, 2016Alerts Immigration Alert

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that, until further notice, employers should continue to use the current version of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form, which bears an expiration date of March 31, 2016. Per USCIS, this current version of the form continues to be effective even after the Office of Management and Budget control number expiration date of March 31, 2016, has passed. USCIS will provide updated information about the new version of Form I-9 as it becomes available.

This announcement follows USCIS’s notice in the Federal Register on March 28, 2016 of a 30-day public comment period on its proposed changes to the I-9 Form. Comments will be accepted until April 27, 2016.

You may recall that last fall (on November 24, 2015), USCIS published a notice of its proposed changes to the I-9 form in the Federal Register, with a 60-day public comment period. The recently announced 30-day comment period enables further input from the public after USCIS incorporated proposed changes to the form based on remarks received from the public during the 60-day comment period.

USCIS has a stated goal to improve the I-9 form to reduce the number of technical errors.

The key proposed changes are:

  • Validations on certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly
  • Additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators
  • Drop-down lists and calendars
  • Embedded instructions for completing each field
  • Buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form to start over
  • A dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form
  • A quick-response matrix barcode, or QR code, that generates once the form is printed that can be used to streamline audit processes
  • Requiring employees to provide only other last names used in Section 1, rather than all other names used
  • Removing the requirement that aliens authorized to work provide both their Form I-94 number and foreign passport information in Section 1
  • Separating instructions from the form, in keeping with USCIS practice
  • Adding a Supplement in cases where more than one preparer or translator is used to complete Section 1. After the comment period ends, USCIS has indicated that additional changes may be made before the new Form I-9 ultimately is made available for use by the public.

USCIS has indicated that, after the current 30-day comment period ends, additional proposed changes may be made before the new Form I-9 ultimately is available for use by the public.

For more information about this alert or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Catherine Wadhwani at 412.394.5540 or [email protected], Alka Bahal at 973.994.7800 or [email protected] or any member of Fox Rothschild’s Immigration Department.