Revised Form I-9 Goes into Effect May 7

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") recently published its latest revisions to the Employment Eligibility Verification Form – more commonly known as the Form I-9 – that are intended to minimize or, at the very least, reduce any errors with respect to completing the Form itself.

How Has The Form I-9 Changed? Form I-9, which was previously a one-page document, has been expanded to two pages (exclusive of the document’s instructions) largely because of the addition of certain fields in section 1. Page 1 of the updated Form now exclusively concerns "Employee Information and Attestation," while the newly created page 2 addresses "Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification" and "Re-verification and Rehires."

The Form now requests that employees provide their foreign passport information (where applicable), telephone number, and email address. The latter two fields remain optional, and therefore should not be mandated by employers.

Finally, the updated Form contains increasingly specific instructions for both the employer and employee regarding completion of the Form itself and the sufficiency of social security cards as "List C" documents. Specifically, the updated Form more clearly enumerates those situations in which a social security card does not establish a prospective employee’s employment authorization. According to the revised "List C," a social security card does not establish such authorization where it includes or bears one of the following limiting designations: (i) not valid for employment; (ii) valid for work only with INS authorization; or (iii) valid for work only with DHS authorization.

What Does This Mean for My Company?

Employers may continue to utilize the prior version of Form I-9 through and including May 7, 2013, although they are encouraged to adopt the new Form much earlier. After May 7, however, employers will be required to exclusively employ the revised Form for both newly hired employees and those employees whose employment requires re-verification. Employers need not complete new forms for existing employees whose employment does not require re-verification, although previously completed forms should be retained as part of the normal recordkeeping process.

Vendors and third-parties that provide Form I-9 services, both electronic and otherwise, will also be required to comply with the new version of the form by May 7. You should nevertheless contact any such providers and work with them to ensure full compliance. You should also contact counsel to ensure that you have implemented the appropriate mechanisms for compliance with the USCIS’ most recent I-9 revisions, and any other new hire requirements.

If you have any questions about the revised Form I-9 or other labor and employment issues, please contact the authors of this Alert, or any member of the Reed Smith Labor & Employment team.

Topics:  Eligibility, Hiring & Firing, I-9, USCIS

Published In: Immigration Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

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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