Navigating the Latest Form I-9 and E-Verify Updates for 2024

Are you up to speed on the latest updates to Form I-9 and the E-Verify platform? These essential documents and systems play a crucial role in ensuring compliance with immigration laws and verifying employee eligibility to work in the United States.

With that in mind, the Focus HR team has created this rundown of recent updates. 

What Is Form I-9?

Officially known as the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, Form I-9 is a document used by employers in the United States for identity verification and employment clearance of individuals hired for positions with the company. The form requires prospective employees to provide documentation to establish their identity and eligibility to work in the country.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audits have been significantly increasing since 2018, making I-9 compliance more important than ever. You are required to complete a Form I-9 for each person you hire, regardless of their citizenship status. Failing to properly complete and retain these records can expose you to penalties and fines. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) periodically updates this form to reflect current concerns, challenges, and legal frameworks.

What Is E-Verify?

USCIS created the internet-based system E-Verify in conjunction with the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you enroll in E-Verify, you can use the system to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired staff by comparing information provided on Form I-9 with records available in government databases. 

While you don’t have to use E-Verify, the system provides you with added protection during the hiring process. With E-Verify, you can more thoroughly vet prospective employees and ensure they are authorized to work in the United States. 

Recent Updates to Form I-9

In 2023 and 2024, the USCIS made several major changes to Form I-9, including updates and clarifications on the acceptable documents. Here’s a recap of the three document categories recognized by the federal government:

  • List A: Establishes identity and employment authorization (i.e., passport)
  • List B: Establishes identity (i.e., Driver’s license)
  • List C: Establishers authorization only (i.e., U.S. Social Security Card)

Generally, applicants have to provide at least one document from list A or an item from both list B and C. The recent updates help you better understand which documents fall into each category and any exceptions.

Additionally, the USCIS enhanced the electronic Form I-9 system to make it easier to use. If you are using the electronic form, make sure you have the most up-to-date file to avoid any compliance or usability issues. 

Recent Updates to E-Verify

The USCIS hasn’t announced any major changes to the E-Verify platform. However, they have continued the ongoing process of making the system more reliable and user-friendly. Look for changes to the user interface and additional features to promote compliance.

Important Note for Employers:

While participation in E-Verify is voluntary for most employers, there are exceptions. Employers in Arizona are required by law to enroll in E-Verify. The “Fair and Legal Employment Act” (HB 2779) mandates that all businesses in Arizona use E-Verify to determine the employment eligibility of new hires.

Considering E-Verify?

Even if you’re not located in Arizona, E-Verify remains a great free tool. It can help you efficiently vet prospective employees and potentially cut down on the time to hire.

Staying Up-to-Speed on the Latest Provisions

The USCIS periodically publishes updates to Forms I-9 and E-Verify. The simplest way to stay in the know is to routinely check the USCIS Form I-9 Related News page, which lists any guidance on the Employment Eligibility Verification Form that has been published over the previous three years. 

You can also filter out content by category, which allows you to quickly track down specific updates that may impact your business. 

In addition to checking the news page, you should also take the following steps to ensure compliance:

  • Stay Informed: Review guidance provided by the USCIS and other relevant government agencies, like the SSA 
  • Train Your Team: Educate your team on how to use E-Verify and electronic forms 
  • Conduct Audits: Regularly review your hiring processes to ensure that vital forms are submitted on time 
  • Seek Assistance: If you are uncertain about verification requirements, seek outside support 
  • Use Free Resources: Take advantage of tools provided by government agencies and reputable organizations 

Failing to follow the E-Verify and Form I-9 requirements could expose your business to liability under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). Therefore, you must be diligent.

Need Guidance on Employment Eligibility Verification?

Keeping up with the seemingly constant updates to hiring and labor standards can be daunting. The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. Connect with Focus HR and schedule a consultation with one of our human resources experts. We’ll help you tackle your biggest HR challenges, from hiring and talent retention to compliance and onboarding. 

Scroll to Top