A New Government Form that Really Works? The New I-9 Form.

It is early to make a final evaluation, but it appears the new I-9 form developed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is actually a winner!

The new Employment Eligibility Form, or the I-9 as we all know it, was developed to reduce errors and lessen confusion by both the employer and employee.

Improvements include :

  • the fact that most of it can be completed digitally;
  • it has a help feature for every space that needs to be completed;
  • it will autocomplete applicable sections based on answers to some questions;
  • as long as the form is completed on a computer that is connected to the internet, it will describe exactly what documents can be used for List A, B, and C;
  • and it has a review button at the end to ensure the form has been completed correctly!

Maybe most surprising is the fact that, because of all the help features, the form has been reduced from nine pages down to four!

I believe that is the first time that I can recall that the Paperwork Reduction Act has actually worked!

It should be noted that the form must still be printed and signed by both the new employee and the “authorized representative” of the employer. There is no capability to electronically sign the form at this time, but maybe that will be a future enhancement.

Based on reviews of I-9 forms that I have done while conduct HR Audits for our member companies, these features should help immensely in the accurate completion of these forms. I have commonly found sections that have been skipped, the wrong documents used in in each of the document lists, and wrong or no issuing authorities listed. I have also found forms with no signatures, which this form will not help, but maybe with so much help in the other sections, we’ll all remember to sign and get the employee to sign.

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at bob.bethel@theea.org.

About Bob Bethel

Bob’s career in human resources has led him through a number of area organizations. EA members tap into his extensive experience via our HR Hotline and by engaging him for training and consulting projects. Bob is involved in the HR Professional community as the Director of the Ohio SHRM State Council and in the local community as a Springfield Township Trustee.

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