I-9 Form Update

What is an I-9 Form and what is changing?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires a form be completed for every new employee joining your organization. The Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) is used to prove United States Citizenship or that an employee has been authorized to work in the United States. 

The DHS recently announced the release of an updated Form I-9 with changes impacting ALL United States employers. Your organization should become familiar with the new form and review your I-9 practices for any adjustments. While these forms do not have to be sent directly to the government, you must have one on file for each employee to be compliant. If you are audited and caught non-compliant, you may face substantial penalties. The purpose of the update is to streamline documentation around onboarding and reduce the burdens associated with the form for employers and employees. 

Who is impacted by the changes?

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires all employers, regardless of size, to hire only individuals who are legally authorized to work in the US. Therefore, all US employers are required to comply with the update regardless of number of employees or private/ public filing status. 


  • Aug. 1, 2023, the new form was released
  • *October 31st - the last date the form is effective* Employers who continue to use the out-of-date form after this date will be subject to penalties. 

Verifying remote employees:

During the pandemic the rules were more relaxed for new employees to help employers manage and onboard remote workforces. There was flexibility to remotely identify documents and employers were able to accept expired documents. With the new form, all employees not considered "remote employees" will be required to provide physical, valid documentation (see form for what documentation counts).

*Remote employees are defined as employees who are not expected to preform work at the company worksite on a regular or recurring basis.*

With the new form, employers hiring remote employees may remotely examine employees' Form I-9 documents provided they are enrolled in E-Verify. The alternative procedure is detailed in a notice in the Federal Register published on July 25, 2023. Find out how to enroll in E-Verify on the Enrolling in E-Verify page. 

What was updated?

Shortening the form and simplifying the steps it takes to complete it:

  • Clarifying the meaning of certain words and descriptions on the form
  • Making it more user-friendly and easy access
  • Updating the list of acceptable documents. There are newer versions of employment authorization documents. Expired documents are no longer accepted as they were during the exemption period.

Does my payroll company handle this?

No, the responsibility of complying with the updated process will fall on your onboarding team (most likely your HR department) because the forms must be reviewed in person with physical copies. Therefore, a payroll company cannot complete this process for you. 

Do I have to re-do the form for all my current employees or just new hires?

Your organization is not responsible for re-verifying employees due to the change in form - if they were verified correctly in the past, they will remain verified. However, you should review each employee's file and ensure your organization has the proper documentation for each employee. If you are missing documentation, you should make it a priority to collect the necessary documentation.

What if the forms expire while the employee continues to work for your organization?

It is not the responsibility of your organization to continuously monitor current employees' valid documents- as long as they provided valid ones at the time of onboarding. However, reverification is required when an employee's authorization documented only allows them to work in the U.S. for a specific period of time. 

What about employees who are re-hired or are going full time?

Employees that were re-hired more than three years after completing their original I-9 will need to go through the entire onboarding process again and provide up to date documentation and forms. Employees transitioning from part-time to full-time will not need to complete the process again provided that all appropriate documentation was provided at the time of hire. 

Best Practices: Documentation Review

You must examine the documentation your employee presents to complete Section 2 of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. You are not required to be a document expert. Documents need to be reasonably genuine and relate to the employee.

Examples of steps your organization can take: 

  • Create policies and training for employees that oversee the I-9 process
  • Assign a single individual to be in charge of your organization's I-9 process
  • Establish a formal I-9 compliance policy
  • Prioritize completing periodic internal Form I-9 audits
  • Supervise employee completion of Section 1
  • Ensure your organization has a process for copying and storing completed forms
  • Track expiration dates for reverification
  • Use electronic verification software for creating, managing, and storing Forms I-9
  • Enroll in E-Verify


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