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Yova A. Borovska, associate in Buchanan’s Immigration practice, recently discussed the proposed “smart” I-9 form with the Society of Human Resource Management. The I-9 form is used to identify the employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. Immigration professionals were able to provide comments about the features of the proposed new form up until January 25.

“The ‘smart’ I-9 is not that smart – it will not connect to E-Verify,” Borovska explained to the Society of Human Resource Management. “In fact, the new I-9 is not even the equivalent of electronic storage. It must be printed, manually dated and manually signed.”

She added that it is “unclear how the smart I-9 would be integrated with HR software already being used by large employers. It might actually make it more complicated for employers who would need to take an extra step to complete the smart I-9.”

However, Borovska noted a potential benefit to the new form. On the current form, if an employee erroneously selects “U.S. citizen,” the individual could be barred forever from obtaining permanent residence and citizenship, even if it was an innocent mistake or if the individual does not understand that permanent residence is not the same as citizenship.

“This can hopefully be prevented by the new form,” said Borovska. “The form would presumably alert the employer if the individual enters ‘U.S. citizen’ but presents a lawful permanent resident card instead.” The form would be unable to catch the error if the individual presented a driver’s license or unrestricted Social Security card, however.

Read the full article – “‘Smart’ I-9 Form Comes Up Short” (Society for Human Resource Management, January 20, 2016)