By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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The USCIS is finally going to be issuing a new I-9 form, which will be effective January 22, 2017. The current I-9 form continues to be in effect even though it states that it expires on March 31, 2016.

This new I-9 form has cleared its final hurdle – approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Although the new form will not be for mandatory use until January 22, 2017, the USCIS must publish it by November 22, 2016. If it follows the pattern of the 2013 I-9 form, employers will be able to use either the 2013 I-9 form or the 2017 I-9 form for the period between November 22, 2016 and January 21, 2017. The new I-9 form will have an expiration date of August 31, 2019, which is consistent with previous I-9 validity periods.

To date, the USCIS has not published a draft of the new I-9 form although it has stated changes that will be included in the 2017 I-9 form. Some of these changes are:
(1) Replacing the “Other Names Used” field in Section 1 with “Other Last Names Used.” This will avoid employees writing their nicknames in this field;
(2) Modifying Section 1 to request certain employees to enter either their I-94 number or foreign passport information, rather than both;
(3) Providing a box for employees to check if they did not use a preparer or translator;
(4) Modifying the I-9 form to enable the use of multiple preparers and translators; and
(5) Adding an area in Section 2 to enter additional information for TPS extensions, OPT STEM extensions and H-1B portability in order to avoid having to note this information in the margins of the I-9 form.


Stay tuned as I will publish the new I-9 form as soon as it is released, which hopefully will be before November 22, 2016.