A new I-9 Form — which is the document employers use to verify the identity and eligibility of employees hired in the United States — has been issued by the Department of Homeland Security. You can obtain forms now and should begin using them soon. However, you may continue to use the old forms a bit longer. Just be sure to have a supply of the new version on hand, because you must begin using them no later than May 7, 2013.
How To Obtain the New Forms
The revised forms are available in English and Spanish online at www.uscis.gov. For more information, call 888-464-4218. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. USCIS maintains a website, I-9 Central, to support Form I-9 users.
To order forms, call USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676. For downloadable forms and information on USCIS programs, immigration laws, regulations, and procedures, please visit www.uscis.gov.
The press release following was released to provide more information:
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for use.
All employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee hired in the United States.
Improvements to Form I-9 include new fields, reformatting to reduce errors, and clearer instructions to both employees and employers. The Department of Homeland Security has published a Notice in the Federal Register informing employers of the new Form I-9.
Effective March 8, 2013:
- Employers should begin using the newly revised Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13)N for all new hires and reverifications.
- Employers may continue to use previously accepted revisions (Rev.02/02/09)N and (Rev. 08/07/09) Y until May 7, 2013.
- After May 7, 2013, employers must only use Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13)N. The revision date of the form is printed on the lower left corner of the I-9.
What are the Changes?
- Previously the Form I-9 was one page. Now, it is two.
- Certain data fields have been added to Section 1, including fields for the employee’s passport information, if a passport is presented.
- Employees now have the option to also provide their contact information (e-mail address and phone number), which could be used by the Department of Homeland Security if there is a mismatch of information between their records and the Social Security Administration’s records.
- Section 2 looks different, but the information has not changed. It does contain points for employers to remember, such as those below.
A Few Reminders for Employers
The Department of Homeland Security wants employers to know they should not fill out new I-9 forms for current employees if there is already a properly completed form on file.
Also, when you present a new hire with a Form I-9 (which includes a list of acceptable documents for proving employment eligibility) you may not request specific documents. The list is available for employees to select the documents they will present.
However, do not accept expired documents or copies of originals. Documents must be current, and original. You are responsible to inspect all documents presented to determine if they appear genuine. An employee who states that an original document is unavailable because it has been lost, stolen, or damaged can present instead a receipt showing that he or she has applied for an original document. That employee then has 90 days to receive and present you with the original. In addition:
There is no requirement for the employer to make or keep copies of the documents presented. If you do choose to make copies, you should apply this policy consistently for all employees.
You can download and print the new forms (see sidebar) and the six pages of instructions. It is important that you make the instructions available to employees. But also, take the time to review the instructions yourself.
The I-9 Form itself is two pages. Employees must complete Section 1 no later than the first day of employment. As the employer, you must complete Section 2 no later than three business days from the employee’s first day of employment. For an employee who begins working on a Monday, he or she must fill out Section 1 before the end of that day, and you must fill out Section 2 no later than the following Thursday.
As before, employers are required to maintain Forms I-9 for as long as the employee remains with the company and for the required retention period after employment terminates (three years from the date of hire or one year from the date employment ended, whichever is later). These forms must be made available for inspection upon request by appropriate federal authorities. Failure to properly maintain these forms could result in civil money penalties.
Contact PayVision Online if you have additional questions about your Form I-9 responsibilities.