The New Form I-9 Has Arrived!

Contributed by Sara Zorich

Employers have been hearing “buzz” about the new Form I-9 for about a year now.  After two rounds of revisions, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it has released the new Form I-9.  Employers should take note that the new Form I-9 will look vastly different then prior versions of the Form I-9.  Most importantly, the new Form I-9 that employers and employees must complete is a 2-page form with seven additional informational pages.

Employers may begin using the new Form I-9 as of March 8, 2013.  The revision date on the new form is ‘‘(Rev. 03/08/13) N’.”  USCIS is allowing employers a 60 day grace period in which to start implementing use of the form with their new employees in order for employers to update their business processes.  USCIS has indicated that employers should not wait the 60 days in order to begin utilizing the form if they have updated their business practices.  Employers must be aware that after May 7, 2013, all prior versions ((Rev. 08/07/09) Y and (Rev. 02/02/09) N) can no longer be utilized for employment verification.  After May 7, 2013, employers who fail to use Form I–9 (Rev. 03/08/13)N may be subject to all applicable penalties under section 274A of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1324a.

According to the USCIS notice in the Federal Registrar, the key revisions to the Form I–9 include: (1) adding data fields, including the employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable) and telephone and email, (2) improving the form’s instructions and (3) revising the layout of the form and expanding the form employees and employers must complete from one page to two pages.

Any employers utilizing electronic Form I-9 systems should contact their software vendor to discuss updating their system to comply with the new form and requirements.  Those employers who have developed their own electronic I-9 software must review their systems, update accordingly and ensure they are complying with the requirements for completing and maintaining electronic I-9’s.

Copies of the Form I-9 for download can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/i-9.  Additionally, copies of the Handbook for Employers (M-274) guide to using the Form I-9 has been updated and can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/m-274.pdf.

After the posting of this blog, USCIS revised and amended its prior instructions for the new I-9 form indicating that employers MUST begin utilizing the new I-9 form as of May 7, 2013 and not as of May 8, 2013.  Thus employers MUST begin using the new I-9 form for all new employees NO LATER than May 7, 2013.