Employers must begin using the new version of Form I-9.  On March 7, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced publication of a revised Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification, effective March 8, 2013.  Employers are required to use the Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization eligibility of employees. 

Changes to the Form

There now are six pages of instructions, and one page with acceptable “List A, B, and C” type documents that the employee may present.  The Form contains several changes, including the following:

The form now has two pages to complete; page one is for the employee to complete, while fields for information about documents reviewed and for the employer certification are on page two.   A warning on the bottom of page 1 — “STOP.  Employer Completes Next Page” – is designed to ensure that the employer does not overlook the second page.

  • Fields for additional data have been added:
    • “Other Names Used” (The “maiden name” field is gone.)
    • Boxes to fill for the Social Security number, instead of an open text field. (The instructions clarify that providing a Social Security Number is optional, unless the employer uses E-Verify, in which case the number must be added to the I-9.)
    • Employee e-mail address and telephone number (The instructions clarify that this information is optional, but that if it is provided, DHS may contact the employee in the event of a mismatch with Social Security records.)
    • “USCIS Number” (Though listed as an alternative to the “Alien Registration Number,” it is the same number.)
    • “Form I-94 Admission Number,” issued by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on entry to the U.S. – required only if it appears on a work authorization document
    • Foreign passport information
    • On page 2, a field for employee name from Section 1
    • A third set of fields for “List A” identity and employment authorization document information
    • In the “Certification” section, specification that the employee representative is attesting to the following:
      • I have examined the document(s) presented by the above-named employee;
      • The above-listed document(s) appear [sic] to be genuine and to relate to the employee named, an
      • To the best of my knowledge the employee is authorized to work in the United States.
    • Boxes for 3-D Barcode – the purpose of these fields are not described.

The revised form clarifies the timeframe for completion, indicating that “Employees must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of employment, but not before accepting a job offer.” 

60-Day Grace Period

Employers are instructed to use the revised Form I-9 beginning March 8, 2013, as indicated by the designation on the bottom, “Form I-9 03/08/13 N.”  Prior versions of the form (Rev. 08/07/09) and (Rev. 02/02/2009) no longer are available on the USCIS website.  However, within the 60-day period after March 8, that is, to May 7, 2013, employers who use the prior version of the Form are not subject to penalties under the Immigration and Nationality Act, § 274A.

Applicability

As indicated on the instructions, the Form is required for newly hired employees.  When rehiring an employee within three years of the date Form I-9 was originally completed, employers have the option to complete a new Form I-9 or complete Section 3 of the previously completed form. 

Document Retention

Regarding document retention, the form instructions indicate that employers may, but are not required to, photocopy documents employees present for completion of the Form I-9, but that photocopies must be retained and presented with Form I-9 in case of an inspection by DHS or other federal government agency.