The Updated I-9: Who Knew a Simple Form Would be so Difficult?


The new I-9 will be published in 2013. Will you like it?

Back on August 22, 2012 I published The I-9 you are using is about to expire, now what? I hope you were paying attention. But don’t worry the new one is not out yet. In fact it may not make its appearance until 2013 and when it does you will probably not be too happy with it. Who knew a simple form would be so difficult?
Substantial change
According to an article by attorney Allen Smith; the new form is supposed to undergo a substantial change, its first in 25 years. If the more than 6200 comments on the form are any indication the substantial changes are substantially unpopular. Here are a few of the changes that have been proposed:

  • The form itself will expand from one page to two. (Oh goodie, more opportunities to make mistakes and pay more fines.)
  • The instructions will go from three pages to SIX. (Yes, you read that correctly. Nothing like clarity in government! If you photocopy these your costs will be doubled. You also need to increase your storage space.)
  • The list of acceptable documents will increase to one full page. (Hope you have a documentation expert on hand.)
  • Despite currently pdf technology, it will not be a “smart” form. (Automatic prompts in some areas might be handy to avoid mistakes.)
  • It is not necessarily E-Verify friendly. (Some coordination here would be very helpful.)

You can read the entire article to get the full flavor of the problems this is foreseen to cause.
Increased costs
One of those areas that employers will be unhappy with is with the automated systems used by many companies. Once a new form is decided on all the software out there will have to be revised to conform to the new form. Someone is going to have to pay and we generally know who that is…. YOU the employer.
Like I said at the outset the form will not be released until 2013. The opportunity to comment on the various versions can be found here, just scroll to the bottom of the page to find the links. Let them know what you think. If you don’t you have to live with what they produce.
Hmmm… I wonder whatever happened to simplification in government paperwork? (Said tongue-in-cheek.)

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