Nine months after the previous Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification expired, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published new, revised versions of the Form I-9 documents. Employers, including credit unions, should start using these new Form I-9 documents as soon as possible — as appropriate.
Employers must use the Form I-9 to verify their employees’ identity and employment authorization. The new Form I-9 (edition date 08/01/23) has undergone some major improvements, including:
Additionally, the revised Form I-9 is designed to be fillable on tablets and mobile devices.
When the previous Form I-9 documents expired at the end of October 2022, the USCIS told employers to continue using the expired form until the new edition was available. Now, employers can start using the new version right away — although, even if employers choose to use the prior version, they can only do so until October 31, 2023, after which the 10/21/19 edition will be obsolete and no longer valid for use. Starting November 1, 2023, employers who fail to use the 08/01/23 edition of Form I-9 may be subject to all applicable penalties. The version date is on the lower left corner of the form.
Note: When the USCIS issues new Forms I-9, existing employees are not required to fill out a new form. As long as employees completed a current Form I-9, listed acceptable identity and work authorization documents, provided unexpired original documents to the employer to view, and signed and dated the form at the time of hire, employers are compliant.
Finally, as previously reported, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a new rule allowing employers enrolled in E-Verify to remotely examine their employees’ identity and employment authorization documents under a DHS-authorized alternative procedure.
E-Verify Users: Electronically Inspect Form I-9 Documents
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be releasing new, revised Form I-9 documents tomorrow, but that’s not the only change coming for employers.
On July 25, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a new rule that provides an optional alternative procedure to inspect Form I-9 documents. Starting August 1, 2023, this new alternative procedure allows qualified employers who are enrolled in E-Verify to verify Form I-9 documents electronically through a live video call.
On July 31, 2023, the USCIS revised the Handbook for Employers M-274 to reflect the new alternative procedure and revised Forms I-9 (8/1/23 edition), as well as other new updates, guidance and clarifications. The new rule only allows “participants in good standing in E-Verify” to use the alternative procedure. Being in “good standing” means that the employer:
Operated by the USCIS and the Social Security Administration, E-Verify is a free, web-based system that allows employers to electronically confirm their employees’ employment eligibility by comparing information from their Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification against federal government databases.
Using E-Verify is optional for most California employers — only federal contractors and subcontractors are required to use it — although it’s mandatory in some states. Employers opting to use E-Verify have to comply with its requirements and restrictions, including displaying notices in the workplace so they’re clearly visible to potential employees, and not using it to verify the status of an existing employee or of an applicant who hasn’t received a job offer yet. Violations of the federal or state E-Verify laws could expose you to significant civil penalties.
You can read more about the alternative procedure to inspect Form I-9 documents, as well as the COVID-19 temporary flexibilities and alternative procedure, here.
Published by CalChamber, and compiled by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.