New I-9 Form Released
On March 8, 2013, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a revised Form I-9, which must be used by all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all new hires to confirm they are authorized to work in the United States. Employers must begin using the new form no later than May 8, 2013, although prior versions of the form will be accepted until May 7, 2013. Employers do not need to resubmit I-9 forms that have already been completed, and should use the new I-9 form only for new hires and for reverification purposes. Employers who fail to implement use of the revised form will be subject to all applicable penalties under the law.
Three major changes were made to the form in order to minimize employer errors in completing the form.
1. Addition of new data fields. The revised form contains new fields for collecting foreign passport data, telephone numbers, and email addresses. Employees may voluntarily provide telephone numbers and email addresses. If they choose not to provide this information, they may write “N/A” in those fields instead. The instructions also provide that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may contact the employee if government records do not match the information provided by the employee.
2. Improved Instructions. New instructions provide more definition as to timing for completing the I-9 form and when employees must present acceptable identifying documents. Newly hired employees are required to complete Section 1 of the form no later than the first day of employment, and present acceptable documents within three days of being hired. Employers must ensure that employees have properly completed Section 1 of the form, review the documents presented, and complete Section 2 of the form within three days of hire.
3. Layout. The length of the form has been increased so as to include a layout that is easier to read and accommodate the new data fields, which should make the new form more user-friendly. The List of Acceptable Documents now includes clarifying language regarding which documents may be accepted for I-9 purposes.
The new Form I-9 is available on the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.