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USCIS Requires Employers to Use New I-9 Form Beginning January 22, 2017

In November 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new Form I-9 for all employers to use when hiring new employees. Starting January 22, 2017, all employers must use this new Form I-9, which has been referenced as a "smart" form because it can be filled out online and includes drop-down menus, hover text with instructions, and error messages. Failure to use the new Form I-9 beginning January 22, 2017, may result in civil fines.

The new changes are specifically designed to help employers reduce technical errors. Some of the changes include:

  • Additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators.
  • A new check box labeled, "I did not use a preparer or translator" for employees who did not use a preparer or translator to assist in completing Section 1.
  • Removal of the requirement that immigrants authorized to work provide their Form I-94 number and foreign passport information in Section 1.
  • A new area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form.

Even though the new Form I-9 is considered a "smart" form, it does not meet the requirements for an electronic form under the regulations governing electronically created and stored Form I-9s. Therefore, the new Form I-9 must be printed and signed by the employee and employer representative.

For more information, please contact Kofi Semenya at 937-449-5786 or semenya@coollaw.com.

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