U.S. Employers Face New Form I-9 Requirements

USCIS announces newly revised Form I-9 with 60-day phase-in period.

On March 8, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a newly revised Employment Eligibility Verification form, Form I-9, which employers are required to use to verify the identity and employment authorization of newly hired employees. Employers should start to use the new Form I-9 immediately. Use of prior versions of the Form I-9 will no longer be permitted beginning May 7, 2013, which is 60 days from the announcement's publication in the Federal Register. The Federal Register announcement can be viewed here.

What Does This Mean for My Company?

Employers should begin to use the new version of the Form I-9, "(Rev. 03/08/13)N," immediately. However, USCIS recognizes that some employers, particularly those who rely on electronic Form I-9 platforms, may need additional time to make necessary updates to their business processes to allow for use of the new form. Accordingly, USCIS is providing employers with a period of 60 days to make necessary changes to their current Form I-9 protocols.

Software developers that provide third-party Form I-9 software will be expected to reconfigure their products during the 60-day transition period and will be required to use only the new version of the Form I-9 as of May 7. Employers who are unable to make an effective transition to an electronic version of the new form by using their existing electronic platforms will still be required to implement a compliant system for completing the new Form I-9 by May 7.

What Are the Changes to the Form I-9?

The key revisions to the Form I-9 include the following:

  • Adding data fields, including fields for an employee's foreign passport information (if applicable), telephone number, and email address
  • Improving the form's instructions
  • Revising the layout of the form and expanding the form from one page to two pages (not including the form instructions and the List of Acceptable Documents)

Where Can I Find the New Form?

An electronic version of the new Form I-9, "(Rev. 03/08/13)N," is available on the USCIS website.

How Can Morgan Lewis Help?

Employers should conduct a review of their immigration compliance protocols in order to manage the risk associated with immigration compliance requirements and to ensure that they have an effective immigration compliance program in place. It may be desirable to perform this review under the protection of attorney-client privilege. Morgan Lewis can assist in this effort with a comprehensive approach to immigration compliance that includes assistance with Form I-9 self-audits, E-Verify counseling, development of internal policies and handbooks, and training. We also represent employers who are facing government investigations and charges in connection with immigration compliance.

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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