EMPLOYERS MUST USE NEW FORM I-9 STARTING JANUARY 22, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services introduced a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The new form can be accessed HERE.

Starting January 22, 2017, employers must use this new version of the Form I-9 in connection with all new hires in the United States. Section 3 of the new Form I-9 is also required to be used in the event a current employee authorized to work under a prior version of the Form I-9 must be re-verified after January 21, 2017. In such cases, simply append the new version's Section 3 to the employee's previously completed Form I-9.

No action is needed for current employees with properly completed Form I-9s not requiring re-verification of their work authorization.

The new version of the Form I-9 – which includes the marking "11/14/2016 N" in the footer at bottom left corner of the form – replaces a prior version marked at bottom left as "03/18/13 N." The new and prior versions are in most ways identical. The chief difference is that the new version is intended to be easier to complete on a computer, featuring such "smart" features as drop down menus, hover messages, and real-time error indicators – in essence, all the tools that have long been available to consumers in everyday e-commerce. These innovations aside, the Form I-9 still needs to be printed out and signed in hard copy for recordkeeping purposes.

While technical compliance requires that the new version of the Form I-9 be used as of January 22, 2017, our recommendation is that employers start using the new version immediately.

For more information on this or other employment law issues, please contact one of our Employment lawyers.

George J. Asimou is an associate in the Labor & Employment Services Group of the Cleveland-based law firm of Walter | Haverfield LLP.