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Employers: New Form I-9 now available

On March 8, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), issued a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. 

Improved use and format

The new Form I-9 has a different format, including two pages, new data fields, six full pages of revised instructions and a more intuitive layout that separates Section 1, the information employees must provide, from Section 2, the information employers must complete. The documents acceptable for Form I-9 purposes have not changed. However, the List of Acceptable Documents, found on page nine of the new Form I-9, has been revised to clarify the requirements for certain documents.

USCIS highlighted three key changes to the new Form I-9, which is likely to minimize errors in completing the form:

  1. Addition of new data fields
    The new Form I-9 includes new fields for collecting data (foreign passport, telephone number and email address). The instructions indicate that employees may voluntarily provide a telephone number and email address in Section 1. 

  2. Revisions to the layout of the form
    The length of the Form I-9 has increased to two pages to accommodate the new fields, a larger font size and a layout that is intended to be easier to read. “Section 1: Employee Information and Attestation” takes up the entire first page, while “Section 2: Employer Review and Verification,” and “Section 3: Re-verification and Rehires” are both on page two. The List of Acceptable Documents now includes clarifying language as to the types of documents that may be accepted for I-9 purposes, including language on restricted Social Security cards. 

  3. Improvement in the form's instructions
    USCIS has improved some of the language in the instructions as well. For instance, the new instructions include more definitive statements on the required timing for completing the Form I-9 and the employee's presentation of acceptable documents. The format of the instructions has also improved the overall readability of the form.

All employers should understand the impact of the changes and become familiar with the new Form I-9. Although employers should begin using the March 8, 2013 dated Form I-9 immediately, older Form I-9s dated Feb. 2, 2009 and Aug. 7, 2009 will be accepted until May 7, 2013. After May 7, 2013, only the March 8, 2013 Form I-9 will be accepted.

Please note that use of the revised Form I-9 is for new hires moving forward. Employers do not need to replace the Form I-9s that are already completed and on file for existing employees. It is critical that employers use the issuance of the new Form I-9 as an opportunity to conduct comprehensive Form I-9 training for those individuals responsible for completing the Form I-9.

The remainder of this year will likely bring many other changes to the employment verification (I-9) process as a result of comprehensive immigration reform and a federal mandate that would require use of the electronic E-Verify system by more employers. Additionally, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that it plans to convert to paperless I-94, Arrival/Departure Records, which would eliminate a document commonly presented by employment-authorized temporary workers in the employment verification (I-9) process. Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP will continue to monitor these developments and the potential implications for employers.

If you have questions about the new Form I-9, please contact a member of the Business Immigration group at Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP.

DISCLOSURE REQUIRED BY CIRCULAR 230. This Disclosure may be required by Circular 230 issued by the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service. If this article, including any attachments, contains any federal tax advice, such advice is not intended or written by the practitioner to be used, and it may not be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. Furthermore, any federal tax advice herein (including any attachment hereto) may not be used or referred to in promoting, marketing or recommending a transaction or arrangement to another party. Further information concerning this disclosure, and the reasons for such disclosure, may be obtained upon request from the author of this article. Thank you.

  • Partner

    Kenji is a member of the Business Services Department. A Japanese native, Kenji has worked, researched and taught in the areas of International Maritime Law, International business law and arbitration law for 9 years. He is involved ...



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