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You have probably looked at your Forms I-9 and asked yourself: “Wait! My Form I-9s are about to expire. This never happens! Where is the new form? I guess I can’t hire anyone now!” And then you reminded yourself this happens all the time because apparently, a 2-3 page form is too complex to be able to update every five or so years. But then you remembered there is a 70-page instruction manual which explains how to complete the Form I-9 and you had your answer as to how the Department of Homeland Security gets caught up in its own complexity every few years dealing with the I-9.

So, the Form I-9 is about to expire – again. What’s new? Well, the government isn’t ready to roll out the new I-9, but they will and this is what you need to know about it.

Keep Using the Current I-9s

First, you can keep using your current I-9s. Yes, the ones that have an expiration date of October 31, 2022. It’s okay. You can use them for now until the new Form is issued which will occur when the new regulations are issued. That likely won’t happen until 2023.

Proposed Changes

Second, Homeland Security has proposed changing the I-9 in a number of ways. Now, for those of you who have dedicated a significant portion of your professional lives to understanding Form I-9 rest assured it is not going away nor will it fundamentally change. The government, however, is looking to update the process around the Form I-9 (which is kind of exciting, honestly):

  • Allowing for an alternative examination of the Section 2 documents, or Section 3 for re-verification situations. Likely to include an eventual pilot program to test alternative examination options.
  • Revising the document retention rules.
  • Required fraud detection and anti-discrimination training.
  • Updating the documents allowed for Section 2, List C.
  • Streamlining the Form itself and instructions.

In sum, companies get what they want – the potential option for indefinite remote verification of the Section 2 documents and annual training. Win-win! We can only hope that whenever the new regulations arrive they will reflect these exciting changes and added flexibility for employers in handling the Form I-9 process in an increasingly remote workforce.

You may anticipate we’ll have a myHRgenius webinar on these new regulations whenever they arrive. In the meantime, keep using those Form I-9s with an expiration date of “October 31, 2022”.

Thompson Coe and myHRgenius Tip of the Week is not intended as a solicitation, does not constitute legal advice, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


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Kevin M. Mosher

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