COVID-19 Update: Despite court closures in many areas, Sterling is still able to complete criminal checks with minimal disruption thanks to our proprietary end-to-end automation that allows us to access court information. For additional info on how Sterling is handling the COVID-19 situation, please visit our COVID-19 page.

December 5th, 2016 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

The Revised Form I-9: Your Top 10 Questions Answered

The Revised Form I-9 Your Top 10 Questions Answered | Sterling

Here are the top details you need to know about the latest I-9 Form change that is to go into effect no later than January 22, 2017.

  1. Where can I access a copy of the new Form I-9, and when do I start using this document?

    The most recent version of Form I-9 can be accessed on I-9 Central. Per USCIS, all employers must use the new revised version (v. 11/14/16 N) no later than January 22, 2017. Employers may continue to use the previous version (v. 3/08/2013 N) through January 21, 2017, after which they must use the revised form.

  2. What makes the USCIS fillable Form I-9 different from an electronic I-9?

    The new fillable “Smart Form I-9” published by USCIS assists the employer in completing Form I-9 on a computer. Functionality is limited as it is not considered a true electronic I-9 as defined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Once the form is completed its entirety, the employer is still required to print the form to execute manual signatures. Additionally, the “Smart Form” will not connect to E-Verify and employers are still required to follow I-9 retention requirements.

  3. Do I have to use the new fillable form?

    Employers are not required to use the USCIS fillable Form I-9, and can access a non-fillable version of the new revised I-9 directly on I-9 Central. It is important that employers familiarize themselves with the updated Form I-9 Instructions to ensure they are completing the new version of Form I-9 correctly.

  4. When will the “M-274 Handbook for Employers” be updated?

    The most recent version of the M-274 can be accessed on I-9 Central. Please note, USCIS is in process of updating the handbook and has advised employers to refer to the new Form I-9 instructions for the most up-to-date information.

  5. Has the list of acceptable documents changed?

    No changes have been made to the List of Acceptable Documents.

  6. The updated instructions are now 15 pages long. Am I required to print out and provide the employee with a copy of the instructions every time?

    Yes. Per USCIS, the employer must ensure that all pages of the instructions and the List of Acceptable Documents are made available to all employees completing Form I-9. The instructions and List of Acceptable Documents can be provided in either print or electronically.

  7. I currently use an electronic I-9 solution. Will my solution automatically support the new version of Form I-9?

    To remain in compliance with the USCIS requirement to use the new version of Form I-9 by January 22, 2017, employers that are using an electronic I-9 solution should consult with their technical teams or their I-9 service provider to ensure their solution will support the new version of Form I-9.

    If you are currently using Sterling’s I-9 solution, your platform will support the new revised Form I-9 by January 22, 2017. Additional details will be shared prior to the USCIS required transition date. Please contact your client services representative for additional questions.

  8. I do not have access to a computer and do not want to use the fillable USCIS version of Form I-9. Is a non-fillable template from USCIS available, and do I have to handwrite “N/A” on the form manually?

    A non-fillable version of the new Form I-9 is also available from USCIS. Please refer to I-9 Central for a copy of the form.

    Form instructions must be consistently followed, whether an employer uses a paper system, an electronic system or the USCIS fillable form. Please refer to the Form I-9 instructions for additional guidance on when to use “N/A” in Section 1, 2 and/or 3.

  9. Can the employer complete Section 1 of the fillable form for the employee?

    Section 1 of the Form I-9 must be completed by the employee regardless if the fillable version of Form I-9 is used.

    A preparer and/or translator can assist the employee in completing Section 1. Any person who helped to prepare or translate Section 1 of Form I-9 must complete the Preparer and/or Translator Certification box.

    If two or more preparer and/or translators were used, the new Form I-9 Supplement page can be used to capture additional certifications. A copy of the Form I-9 Supplement page can be downloaded from I-9 Central.

  10. When completing a reverification after January 21st, do I need to fill out the new version of the Form I-9 or can I use Section 3 of the current form?

    After January 21, 2017, employers must use the most recent version of Form I-9 for all new employees and any Section 3 reverifications.

When it comes to your I-9 needs Sterling is here to help. Our latest webinar covers how to avoid common mistakes when completing a Form I-9, requirements for form storage and retention, and examples of Form I-9 non-compliance that have resulted in significant fines.

In addition, this program has been pre-approved for 1 SHRM credit hour and submitted to the HRCI for pre-approval.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.