New Form I-9 – Effective 11/14/2016

Date: December 12, 2016

Employers must switch to new form by January 22, 2017

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released a new Form I-9 (dated 11/14/2016). Employers should begin using the new form immediately, but technically may continue using the current version of the Form I-9 (dated 03/08/2013) until January 21, 2017. By January 22, 2017, employers must use only the new Form I-9.

Click here to download the new Form I-9 and instructions.

Employers should continue to follow existing storage and retention rules for all previously completed Form I-9s.


Under federal law, employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire by completing and retaining a Form I-9. There is no small business exemption for the Form I-9. Employers of all sizes must complete a Form I-9 for every employee hired.


Changes to the Form I-9 are intended to make completion easier and reduce technical errors. For instance, new error-checking features are available when the form is completed using Adobe Reader or other PDF viewing applications (be sure to update to the most recent version). Some other changes include:

• Validations on certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly. The form will validate the correct number of digits for a Social Security number or an expiration date on an identity document, for example.
• Drop-down lists and calendars.
• Embedded instructions for completing each field.
• Buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form to start over.
• Additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators. If the employee does not use a preparer or translator to assist in completing section 1, he or she must indicate so on a new check box labeled, “I did not use a preparer or translator.”
• The requirement that workers provide only “other last names used” in Section 1, rather than “other names used.”
• The removal of the requirement that immigrants authorized to work provide both their Form I-94 number and foreign passport information in Section 1.
• A new “Citizenship/Immigration Status” field at the top of section 2.
• A dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form, such as Temporary Protected Status and Optional Practical Training extensions.
• Separate instructions from the form. Employers are still required to present the instructions to the employee completing the form, however.

This new smart Form I-9 is not an electronic I-9. Employers filling out the new Form I-9 using Adobe Reader will still need to print the form, obtain handwritten signatures, store in a safe place, monitor reverifications and updates with a calendaring system, and retype information into E-Verify as required.

Click here to download the new Form I-9 and instructions.

For more information on complying with the Form I-9 requirements, please contact the NFIB Small Business Legal Center at (800) NFIB-NOW.

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