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UPDATE: Feds Issue Long-Awaited Revised Form I-9, Employers Must Use Starting May 7

By Catherine Gordon, JD | May 07, 2013

If you are planning on hiring a new employee, you will need to update your library of federal employment forms right away. Beginning May 7, 2013, all employers must verify employees’ identity and the eligibility to work in the United States by completing  a newly issued Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has issued a new version of Form I-9 dated March 8, 2013, with an expiration date of March 31, 2016. All new hires made on or after May 7 must use this version of the form.

Tools to Use

The Business Tools contain the latest version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification and instructions that you can use when making a new hire.

Also available in the Business Tools is the Handbook for Employers, which provides guidance regarding the I-9 requirements.

What’s New With the Latest Version of Form I-9?

The main revisions to the new version of Form I-9 are intended to minimize form completion errors. These changes include:

  • adding data fields, for example, an employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable) and telephone and email addresses
  • revising the layout of the form and expanding the form from one page to two (not including the form instructions and the list of acceptable documents)

The form’s instructions have also been revised in an effort to make them clearer for both employers and employees.

Work Smart

If you have questions or concerns regarding the newest edition of Form I-9, you may find it helpful to consult the USCIS website dedicated to supporting form users.

The USCIS has also scheduled free webinars to assist employers with completing the revised Form I-9.

Timetable for Using Revised Form I-9

The version of Form I-9 previously used was the August 7, 2009 edition, with an expiration date of August 31, 2012. Adding to the confusion, the February 2, 2009 edition of the form is also currently acceptable.

The use of the March 8, 2013 version of Form I-9 is in effect as follows:

  • Employers should begin using the newly revised Form I-9 for all new hires and re-verifications immediately and must use the newest version of Form I-9 as of May 7, 2013.
  • Employers may continue to use previously accepted 2009 editions of Form I-9 dated August 7 or February 2 through May 6, 2013.
Work Smart

You should not complete a new Form I-9 for current employees if a properly completed older version of the form is already on file.

Employment Eligibility Documentation Using Form I-9

Employers are required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 to verify citizens’ and noncitizens’ identity and employment eligibility, and record the information on the Form I-9. Acceptable documents to establish both identity and employment eligibility include a current U.S. or foreign passport and a Permanent Resident Card. In some cases, employers must re-verify the identity and the eligibility to work for purposes of an individual's continued employment.

You must keep each Form I-9 for three years after the date of hire or for one year after the employment is terminated, whichever is later. Employers are also required to make the forms available for inspection by authorized government officials, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Justice.

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