“‘Smart’ I-9 Form Comes Up Short”


SHRM, 01/20/2016 –

"The proposed 'smart' I-9 form has a number of features that are leaving immigration experts scratching their heads, as they prepare comments (due Jan. 25) on the recommended changes.

"…Justin Storch, manager of agency liaison at the Council for Global Immigration, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management, said, 'Employers need a fully integrated employment verification system in which employment verification need not be done twice—electronically and on paper. The current system is redundant and requires unnecessary time for employers.'

"…Storch also was concerned by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS') expansion of the form's instructions from six pages to 15. He called this 'a troubling trend, whereby USCIS is continually expanding the instructions for its forms unnecessarily.'

"…The feedback wasn't all bad, however. The validation on the form of the correct number of Social Security account digits, limitations on expired documents and drop-down lists of acceptable documents all are useful…

"…[T]he smart form will eliminate many fines on employers as a result of human error.

"…However, the form would not be able to catch all errors…

"…'The error checks are helpful,' Storch asserted, 'but they are really just a Band-Aid on a bigger problem with the entire employment verification process.'"

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