USCIS Form I-9 Announcement (August 13, 2012)

Form I-9 enthusiasts should be aware USCIS announced this morning that U.S. employers should continue to use the existing Form I-9, which contains an expiration date of August 31, 2012. Immediately after USCIS’ announcement, we wrote in detail about USCIS’ proposed changes to the Form I-9 in late March. USCIS provide a two-month public commenting period in which it received numerous comments.

To date, USCIS has been quietly reviewing the public comments in order to release final changes to the Form I-9, a date that has yet to be determined and announced.

Some of the biggest proposed changes to the Form I-9 include expanding the one-page fillable portion of the form to two-pages of fillable data. Data fields in Sections 1, 2 and 3 have also been shifted and resized to allow for improved data filling. (Notice there’s more white space on the “new” form.) Additional fields were also added to Section 1 requesting additional employee data. Although these fields are considered optional, their presence raised much concern and alarm with many of our U.S. employer blog readers and webinar attendees.

Completely new to the Form I-9 was also an addition of a three-dimensional (3-D) barcode. Though, the barcode has been a popular trend for USCIS to implement on many of its immigration forms, this feature will be new to many U.S. employers. Other changes to the form will ultimately mean U.S. employers must implement some form of retraining for its HR staff who manage the Form I-9 process. With new training will also come new I-9 inspections by ICE, and potentially more fines and more penalties.

How will your organization cope with the proposed form changes that may be implemented as final changes?

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