A new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification is in the works.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking comments on its proposed changes to the form.

Used by all employers, Form I-9 has always had many traps for the unwary.  DHS, with its proposed changes, is trying to simplify and clarify things.

The proposed changes include:

  • Paper reduction.
    • DHS is compressing Sections 1 and 2 into one page instead of two.
    • Section 3 will be a separate Reverification and Rehire Supplement that is is a “stand alone” section, which only is accessed if needed for one of those purposes.
    • The instructions which are attached to Form I-9 are reduced from 15 pages to 7, and users are directed to the online M-274 handbook and I-9 Central for all other questions.
  • List of Acceptable Documents
    • The List of Acceptable Documents will be updated to include a link to the List C resource in the regulations 8 CFR 274a.2(b)(1)(v)(A-C). Since List C is where the unlisted documentation resides, this will be a helpful resource.
  • Clarifications
    • The new I-9 places more emphasis on what constitutes discrimination in the I-9 context.
    • There will be clarified reverification and rehire instructions directly on the form.
    • The onerous “N/A” requirement is eliminated by clarifying that fields that do not apply can be left blank.

Many advocates hoped that the flexibility on “in-person” verifications might be continued beyond COVID-19, but there is nothing about that flexibility on the new form. However, problems that some users may have had due to software issues may be reduced because DHS is removing electronic PDF enhancements.

The comment period will be open until May 31, 2022.  Jackson Lewis attorneys will provide updates as they become available.