USCIS Issues New Form I-9

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On March 8, 2013, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. Employers may use the new form on or after March 8, 2013, and must use it for any new hires on or after May 7, 2013. New forms do not have to be completed for current employees with properly completed earlier versions.

Background -

Since 1986, all employers in the United States have been required to verify the identity and the authorization to work in the United States for any new hire, including United States citizens. There have been six earlier versions of the Form I-9. Each version brought modified instructions and changing lists of documents that an employer can and must accept to prove identity and/or work authorization. The prior edition, which technically expired on August 31, 2012, was approved for continued use by USCIS pending the issuance of the new edition. The prior edition was a single page and had two pages of instructions. The new edition is two pages and has seven pages of instructions, including the list of acceptable documents. The old edition could supposedly be completed in twelve minutes. The new edition instructions state that it will take thirty-five minutes on average to complete. The projected cost to employers to comply with the requirements of the new edition under one estimate is $1.2 billion per year. Employers can print needed copies from the USCIS website.

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