New Employment Eligibility Verification Form, Form I-9, Issued by USCIS

Cozen O'Connor

On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form, Form I-9, and a revised Handbook for Employers, M-274.  The main changes to the new Form are that it contains further instructions on how to complete the Form I-9 and also expands the Form itself to two pages.  Employers should review the revised Handbook and may begin using the new Form I-9 immediately both for new hires and for work authorization reverification.  USCIS is allowing employers two months to transition to the new Form I-9, but beginning on May 7, 2013, employers must use the new Form I-9.  Employers do not need to complete a new Form I-9 for current employees with a proper I-9 on file.

          The new Form I-9 is two pages — instead of one page — and is designed to be easier to read and complete.  The revised Section 1 requests an employee’s telephone number and email address, although the revised Handbook for Employers notes that providing this information is voluntary.  When applicable, Section 1 of the revised Form I-9 requires an employee to note his or her foreign passport number and the country of issuance. 

          The new Form I-9 contains more detailed instructions than the prior form.  The additional instructions include information on how employees with particular statuses should complete Section 1, information on how employers should use only unexpired documents, except in limited circumstances, how employers should handle receipts, and an expanded explanation about how employers should approach reverification of employment. 

         The revised Handbook for Employers contains updated information based on the new Form I-9, including examples of correctly completed new Form I-9s.  The revised Handbook also contains helpful insight on how to complete the Form and addresses issues employers may face during the I-9 process.     

          Employer representatives responsible for the I-9 process should be trained on the new Form I-9.  These representatives, as well as all supervisors and those with hiring responsibility, also should be reminded that they cannot discriminate against applicants or employees based on citizenship status or national origin. 

          Although the revised Form I-9 is not currently available on the USCIS website, it will be available soon at  In addition, employers may request copies of the Form by contacting USCIS at 800-870-3676.  The revised Handbook for Employers, M-274, also can be obtained on the USCIS website.  To be sure you are using the new Form I-9 and revised Handbook, look for a revision date of 03/08/13 on the lower-left-hand corner of the Form I-9 and on the cover of the revised Handbook.

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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