Earlier this year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, the form that must be completed by all employers to verify the employment eligibility of every new hire. The modifications included the expansion of the Form I-9 from one to two pages (not including the “List of Acceptable Documents” and form instructions), additional data fields (such as the new hire’s email address and phone number), enhanced Form I-9 instructions, and a revised layout. The new edition of the Form I-9, marked with a revision date of March 8, 2013, became the only acceptable version of the form as of May 7, 2013.
While it has only been a few months since USCIS introduced the revised Form I-9, the agency is again seeking to make changes to the form. In an email, sent on August 5, USCIS announced that it has been developing a new version of the Form I-9 “that contains enhancements designed to assist employers in complying with the law and reducing errors employers and employees commonly make when completing Form I-9.”
Before proposing the enhanced form and inviting public comment, the agency sought input from nine randomly-selected public employers, comprising four large employers and five small employers, that volunteered to assist with a study to determine the amount of time it takes employers to complete the enhanced version of the form. In the course of the study, individuals representing the employers were requested to play the role of an employer completing Section 2 and/or Section 3 of the Form I-9. The study was administered in early September 2013 at USCIS offices in Washington, D.C.
Ogletree Deakins is monitoring the results of the study and any further proposed changes to Form I-9, and we will provide updates as more information becomes available.