Everything You Need to Know About The New Form I-9 Changes


The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced changes that impact the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9, as well as the introduction of new guidelines for remote document examination. These changes went into effect on August 1, 2023, and we want to ensure that your organization remains compliant during this transition.

Form I-9 Update Highlights:

  1. New Version of Form I-9: A streamlined and shortened version of Form I-9 has been introduced by the USCIS, effective from August 1, 2023. Employers can continue using the older Form I-9 (Rev. 10/21/19) until October 31, 2023, after which penalties may apply if the older form is used.
  2. Alternative Document Examination Procedures: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a final rule allowing employers to implement alternative document examination procedures, including remote document examination. A new checkbox has been added to the Form I-9 to indicate when DHS-authorized alternative procedures are used for document examination.
  3. Remote Verification: Employers in good standing who use E-Verify may conduct verifications electronically after August 1, 2023. This aligns with the establishment of a framework for remote document examination for all employers, reflecting the evolving landscape of remote employment. No other employer may use the remote work documentation that was used during the pandemic.

Why this Matters:

  • The modernized Form I-9 reflects the changing workforce dynamics, accommodating remote employees while upholding the integrity of the U.S. immigration system.
  • E-Verify users in good standing can continue electronic verifications, paving the way for future remote examination possibilities.
  • Compliance with these updates is crucial to avoid penalties and ensure smooth onboarding processes.

Action Steps:

  1. Form Implementation: Begin using the new Form I-9 (effective August 1, 2023) for new hires within three days of an employee’s hired date. The older version can be used until October 31, 2023.
  2. Remote Verification Preparation: If your organization uses E-Verify and plans to utilize remote verification, familiarize yourself with the guidelines and protocols provided by the DHS.
  3. Training: Educate your HR teams on the changes to the Form I-9 and the option of remote verification to ensure accurate and compliant practices.

Note: This will apply to all new hires. You do not need to have all employees complete new forms. However, if you originally reviewed documents via video or other ways during the COVID-19 pandemic, you must re-verify the actual documents with an in-person review no later than August 30, 2023.

For detailed guidance on completing the new Form I-9 and implementing remote verification procedures, please refer to the official USCIS resources and consult our HR experts for assistance. For a detailed look at what’s new on the revised form and the instructions, please read below.

The Revised Form I-9: What’s New?

  1. Streamlined Sections 1 and 2: To optimize the form’s layout, Sections 1 and 2 have been consolidated onto a single-sided sheet. No fields were eliminated; instead, several fields were merged for improved clarity.
  2. Reorganization of Section 1: The Section 1 Preparer/Translator Certification area has been moved to a distinct supplement (Supplement A). Employers can provide this supplement to employees as needed. Additional supplement sheets may be attached if required.
  3. Separate Reverification and Rehire Area: The Section 3 Reverification and Rehire area now resides in a dedicated supplement (Supplement B). Employers can print and utilize this supplement for rehires and reverification scenarios, with the option to attach extra sheets if necessary.
  4. Language Update: The term “alien authorized to work” in Section 1 has been replaced with “noncitizen authorized to work.” Furthermore, distinctions between “noncitizen national” and “noncitizen authorized to work” have been clarified.
  5. Mobile Device Compatibility: The form’s design ensures its compatibility with tablets and mobile devices, enabling convenient completion regardless of the device used.
  6. Enhanced Accessibility: Certain features have been removed to facilitate easy downloading of the form. This eliminates the need to input “N/A” in specific fields, streamlining the process.
  7. Discrimination Prevention Notice: An updated notice at the top of the form provides guidance on avoiding discrimination during the Form I-9 process.
  8. Acceptable Documents Clarification: The Lists of Acceptable Documents page now includes acceptable receipts and offers guidance and links to information about automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation. Eligible employers must check a box if the employee’s Form I-9 documentation was examined under a DHS-authorized alternative procedure instead of physical examination.

Instruction Enhancements: What’s New?

  • Condensed Instructions: The length of the instructions has been reduced from 15 to 8 pages, streamlining the guidance provided.
  • Defined Key Actors: Definitions of key participants in the Form I-9 process have been incorporated for clarity.
  • Simplified Process Steps: The steps each participant takes to complete their respective sections have been streamlined for ease of understanding.
  • Alternative Procedure Instructions: Instructions for using the new checkbox have been included, assisting employers opting for alternative procedures.
  • Abbreviations Information: Abbreviations charts have been removed from the form’s instructions and are now available in the M-274, Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9.