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New I-9 Form Effective Immediately

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New I-9 Form Effective Immediately

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Effective immediately, for all new hires, employers are encouraged to use and complete the new Form I-9 Employment Verification Eligibility (I-9 Form) revised on March 8, 2013 (03/08/2013). A 60 day grace period applies to allow employers time to update their business practices, during which time use of the forms published prior to March 8, 2013, may still be acceptable. However, on and after May 7, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security mandates that all employers use only a version of the I-9 Form dated 03/08/2013, or later.

Presently the only available versions of the revised I-9 Form are found at www.uscis.gov in a .pdf format. The new I-9 Form is two pages in length. The I-9 Form and its accompanying instructions and acceptable document list total 9 pages. All new hires must be presented with or have access to the I-9 Form, the list of acceptable documents to verify identification and employment eligibility, and the accompanying instructions. As a best practice, USCIS recommends that employers duplex (double sided copy) the two pages of the new I-9 Form and write the full name of the employee on the top of both pages. Employers may also duplex hard-copies of the instruction pages provided to employees to save paper as well.

Aside from new hires, mandatory use of the new form may verify for rehires and reverifications. Going forward, if an employee updates or changes any information in Section 1, for example date of birth or name, the employee must complete a new I-9 Form. For reverification of employment authorization for existing employees, the employer must complete Section 3 of the new I-9 Form. However, any employee rehired within three years after prior termination may complete Section 3 of the form the employee completed upon his prior hire date.

A Spanish version of the form is available on-line as well. However, only employers in Puerto Rico, may use the form and have employees actually complete the form in Spanish. Employers in the United States may provide the Spanish version as reference to an employee, but must complete and maintain the English version of the form.

Although USCIS has granted a 60 day grace period, USCIS prefers that employers begin using the new I-9 Form immediately. Whether using the old or new form, employers must complete the forms correctly and should be consistent in their practices. For more information, employers may go to I-9 Central or consult the updated Form M-274, Handbook for Employers, both available at www.uscis.gov.

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