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As of January 22, 2017, employers will be required to use the new I-9 form for all new hires, found on the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. The I-9 form is used to verify if employees are eligible to work in the United States. Each individual is required to complete an I-9 by the third day after his or her hire date.

The new I-9 document is very similar to the old form. No major changes were made to the form itself. The list of eligible documents, the layout of the form and the sections have remained the same, but there have been a few formatting changes. There is now a space on the form to include additional information and document comments, such as retention dates, receipt notice or renewal reminders.
Employees can continue to use a printed form and complete it by hand or they may choose to complete the new “smart form” whereby users can type in the information, print and then sign.

The addition of the new smart form is the biggest change to the I-9 form. The smart form can be completed on a computer and will reduce common errors when completing the I-9 document. The smart form includes drop down selections to help guide individuals as they complete the form. It also will not allow an individual to continue forward until all required fields have been completed. Help boxes placed throughout the form provide additional, helpful instructions if employees have questions about particular fields.

The smart form does not mean the entire process is virtual, however. Required verification documentation must still be viewed in person, not remotely or electronically, by the authorized personnel completing section 2 of the form. Users will need to print and sign the smart form after it has been completed as well.

Some employers with advanced HRIS systems may use an I-9 vendor to complete the form electronically. If you use an online vendor, be sure to compare the new requirements to ensure your vendor has updated to the most recent version.

For more information, visit www.uscis.gov