Time to Dust Off Your New Hire Packet: New Forms I-9 are Here

Time to Dust Off Your New Hire Packet: New Forms I-9 are Here

On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") released a new Form I-9, which is used to verify employment eligibility. The new Form I-9 "(Rev. 03/08/13) N" is available here for immediate use.

It has been over three and a half years since USCIS revised the Form I-9, and the 2013 version of the form has several key changes:

  1. The new form now includes data fields for the employee's email address, phone number and foreign passport information, if applicable. The new instructions clearly state it is optional for employees to provide their email address and phone number, but the form itself does not indicate this information is optional. Employers should encourage, but not require, employees to provide their contact information to allow USCIS to contact the employee directly in the event of discrepancies.
  2. USCIS clarified the instructions to complete the form and revised the layout of the form to reduce errors, increasing the form from a single page to two pages.
  3. The new form specifically allows either an "Authorized Agent" or the employer to complete the employer's section of the form. This change clarifies the role outside vendors may play in processing Forms I-9.

Even though employers should begin using the newly revised Form I-9 immediately for all new hires and reverifications, employers may continue to use the previously accepted revisions until May 7, 2013, while they update their processes or electronic I-9 forms. After May 7, 2013, employers are required to use the new revised Form I-9. Employers should not complete a new Form I-9 for current employees if a properly completed Form I-9 is already on file.

As a reminder, employers must maintain Forms I-9 for three years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment ended, whichever is later. We recommend maintaining all Forms I-9 in one place, and not in each employee's individual personnel file, to facilitate compliance in the event of an inspection or audit.

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Electronic Alerts are written by Barran Liebman attorneys for their clients and friends. Alerts are not intended as legal advice, but as employment law, labor law, and employee benefits announcements. Copyright © 2013 by Barran Liebman LLP.

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