The anticipated but delayed revision to the Form I-9 is now available on line.  The U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the availability of the revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 on March 7.

As you know, Form I-9 pertains to citizenship and is used to verify eligibility of an individual to legally work in the United States.  Failure of an employer to ensure proper completion and retention of Forms I-9 may subject the employer to civil monetary penalties, and, in some cases, criminal penalties. Employers had been using the old expired form to meet hiring requirements as the USCIS worked past the deadline on the new I-9. (See previous Advi$or article)

The new Form I-9 indicates a revision date of 03/08/13 and an expiration date of 03/31/16.  While employers should begin using the new form immediately, the USCIS recognizes that modifications to electronic systems may be necessary for employers using electronic Forms I-9.  Therefore, a 60-day grace period is provided, and the current version of the Form I-9 may be used in these circumstances until May 7, 2013.

Changes to the Form I-9 are designed to minimize errors in the form completion.  These changes include improving the form’s instructions, adding data fields including passport information (if applicable) and telephone and e-mail addresses, and revising the layout of the form and expanding the form from one to two pages. It is interesting to note that the new form now totals 9 pages long instead of the previous form’s 6 pages….. (must be  part of the Paperwork  Reduction Act!)

This new form should be used immediately for new hires.  Note that it is not necessary to complete the updated form for existing employees.  However, the new form should be used in the event re-verification is required at a later date.  The new form is available on our web site at this link.