The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification form. The new Form I-9 takes employment eligibility verification out of the realm of paper documentation and provides new electronic enhancements, such as:
- Drop-down functionality for filling in lists and selecting dates;
- Prompts on certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly;
- Additional room to allow for multiple preparers and translators;
- 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 currently have to jot in the margins of the form;
- A barcode unique to each form to identify it for audit purposes.
Employers may continue to use the current version of the Form I-9 (the one with a revision date of 3/8/2013N) until January 21, 2017. After January 21, 2017, all previous version of the Form I-9 will no longer be valid.
These changes, in addition to the recent increase in penalties for employment verification errors, are of significant importance to employers and Human Resources professionals.