Everything Employers Need to Know about the Updated I-9 Form

Gusto Editors

Key takeaways: 

  • On August 1, 2023, a new I-9 form was released.
    • This form is streamlined and truncated and should be quicker and simpler for employees to fill out. 
  • Employers may continue to use the old I-9 form through the month of October 2023, but after that, those who do not utilize the new form will be subject to penalties. 
  • Starting November 1, 2023, employers must physically inspect employee identification documents–they cannot be verified remotely unless the employer is enrolled in E-Verify.
  • Employers enrolled in E-Verify may allow employees to fill out the I-9 form remotely. 
    • Employers who operate within certain states or municipalities are required to use E-Verify for certain types of employees. 
  • After November 1, 2023, employers will no longer be allowed to accept expired List B identification documents.

Have you heard that a new I-9 form is coming out? It’s pretty exciting! OK. OK. While news about government forms may not be riveting, it’s still important that employers and business owners are aware of changes in order to remain compliant and avoid penalties. 

Below is everything you need to know about upcoming changes to the I-9 form.   

A brief overview of I-9 forms

If you don’t remember what an I-9 form is, head over to the complete employer’s guide to the I-9 form here. In the meantime, we’ll give you a quick overview:

  • Anytime you onboard a new employee, that employee is required to fill out an I-9 form in order for you to run payroll. 
  • This form is created and distributed by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency and is aimed to confirm a) the employee’s identity, and b) the employee’s right and eligibility to work within the U.S. 
  • Along with filling out the form, the employee is required to show identification documentation that proves their identity and eligibility to work. 
  • The employee must complete Section 1 of the form by the end of their first day of work, and must complete Section 2 of the form by the end of their third day of work (or within 72 hours of when they started working). 
  • It’s important to note that the employer is ultimately responsible for ensuring the form is accurately completed—on time—by the employee, so this is on you! 

What’s changing with regard to the I-9 form?

There are two primary changes to note:

  1. As of November 1, 2023, employers will have to physically inspect the employee identification documents in person, unless the employer is enrolled in E-Verify. (Don’t worry. We’ll get into what this is below.)
  2. The actual form has been revised; certain changes have been made to the language and parts of the form have been truncated. (We’ll get into these revisions below in detail.) 

Wait. What’s E-Verify?

E-Verify is a web-based tool created by the U.S. government that enables employers to remotely (and electronically) verify the identification and work eligibility of a new hire. Employers enrolled in E-Verify don’t have to physically inspect the employee’s identification documents. 

What are the rules for employers who are not enrolled in E-Verify?

Employers who choose not to enroll in E-Verify will have to physically inspect an employee’s identification documents. 

How is the I-9 form changing?

As mentioned above, in addition to the new rules around remote verification, the actual I-9 form has been revised. Here’s what to expect: 

  • The form has been truncated: Sections 1 and 2 only take up one side of one sheet and the instruction pages have been reduced to eight pages (down from 15).
  • The form is now mobile-friendly; users can fill it out on mobile devices and the form will be easier to download anywhere.  
  • The term “alien” will be replaced with the term “noncitizen.” 
  • A new notice section guides employers on avoiding discrimination during this process
  • The Reverification and Rehire section has been moved off the form and is now a supplemental sheet.
  • The Lists of Acceptable Documents has been revised; expired documents are no longer acceptable and certain documents are newly acceptable.
  • The instructions are now eight pages in length (as opposed to 15 pages).

Where can I get a new I-9 form?

The new I-9 form is available for download here

Can I still use the old I-9 form? 

Employers may continue to use the old I-9 through Oct 31, 2023. After this date, any employer who uses the old form may face penalties. 

How can I be sure I’m using the right form?

Check the bottom left of the form. You’ll see a date. You want to see the date 8/1/2023 printed there. 

And, with that you’re ready to use the revised I-9 form for all new employees! We’ll leave you with a touch of humor:

Gusto Editors Gusto Editors, contributing authors on Gusto, provide actionable tips and expert advice on HR and payroll for successful business management.
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