The I-9 form is about to undergo some major changes. But the $64,000 question on every HR pros’ mind: When?
You know the I-9 is used to verify citizens’ eligibility to work in the U.S.
And you also know that the previous form expired on Aug. 31, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) instructing HR pros to continue using the old form until a new one is approved.
The proposed changes to that new I-9 form were posted in March, and the feds recently extended the comment period for employers and organizations to Oct. 15.
That extension, some immigration lawyers say, has thrown the timeline behind the new form’s release into question, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Some attorneys say it’ll be ready for the beginning of 2013. Others say that, given the 6,200 comments the new form received online, it’s unlikely the turn of the year will see a new form.
What may be coming
The kerfuffle behind the new I-9 stems partly from a proposed increase in paperwork. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) says the new form would double the amount of documentation companies are required to provide and retain.
The AILA also laid out four more areas they want revised before the new form is released:
- no longer asking for a staffer’s telephone number or email address
- better incorporating E-Verify requirements, as an increasing number of firms use E-Verify
- adding a clearer explanation of why the USCIS will begin using bar-coding info on the new form, and
- making it clearer for staff members and companies which documents the U.S. Department of Homeland Security considers necessary for authorization.
One potential solution: a 180-day phase-in period where companies can use either form while they update their systems and paperwork.
We’ll keep you updated.