Employers Must Use New I-9 Forms No Later Than May 8, 2013


Last Friday, March 8th, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, adopted a new I-9 Form that must be used by all employers (and some other entities), starting no later than May 8, 2013—two months after the new requirement was published in the Federal Register. A copy of the announcement can be found here.

The new Form, with a revision date of "(Rev. 03/08/13)N" in the bottom right hand corner, differs from earlier versions in three basic ways:

  • It has added data fields to fill in, including the employee's foreign passport information (if applicable) and telephone number and e-mail address;

  • The instructions are improved; and

  • The layout is revised and expanded from one to two pages (not including the instructions and List of Acceptable Documents).

The new I-9 Form may be used immediately, but it is also permissible to continue to use prior versions through May 7, 2013.  Starting May 8, 2013,  only the new form is acceptable.

Employers are not required to complete a new I-9 Form for current employees for whom there are already properly completed forms on file, unless re-verification is required, in which case the new form is to be used. 

Copies of the new I-9 Form may be obtained online here or by calling 1-800-870-3673.[1]

In addition to using the new I-9 Forms, employers should audit their files to be sure that they have I-9 Forms for all of their current employees and should verify that the forms were properly completed.  Completed forms must be kept for the duration of an employee's employment and for an additional retention period of three years after date of hire or one year after termination of employment, whichever date is later.  The forms must be made available for inspection upon request by authorized federal officers. 

Failure to ensure proper completion and retention may be subject to monetary and criminal penalties.

[1] A Spanish-language version is available, but it is to be used only in Puerto Rico.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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