That old stalwart of HR paperwork—the I-9 Form—got its much-anticipated facelift.
On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new version of the Employment Eligibility Verification Form. Employers have been required since 1986 to complete the I-9 Form for each new hire to verify the person’s identity and work eligibility, then to keep the form on file.
The USCIS announced the change in the Federal Register on March 8 and published the new form on its web site.
60-day grace period. Employers can immediately start using the new form, which carries a “Rev. 03/08/13)N” notation in the bottom left corner. The USCIS is giving employers 60 days to begin using the new form in their hiring procedures. “After May 7, 2013, all employers must use the revised Form I-9 for each new employee hired in the United States,” said the agency.
Employers that fail to use the correct form after 60 days open themselves to the varying penalties under the law.
What’s new? According the USCIS, the new form “makes several improvements designed to minimize the errors in form completion." These include:
- Adding new data fields, including room for the employee’s telephone number and email address, as well as foreign passport information;
- Clarifying the form’s instructions; and
- Revising the layout of the form and expanding it from one to two pages (not including the form’s instructions and List of Acceptable Documents)
Note: Employers do NOT have to complete a new Form I-9 for current employees if they already have a complete I-9 on file for that worker (unless reverification applies). Unnecessary verification efforts of your employees could trigger a discrimination complaint. So, starting today, only use the new form with new hires or employees who need I-9 reverification.
USCIS has also scheduled free webinars to help employers learn about the new form.
NEW CHANGES TO THE I-9 FORMHere is a section-by-section summary of the changes to the Form I-9, according to a report by the Fisher & Phillips law firm:
Section 1: Employer Information and Attestation
Fields are added to list the employee’s email address and telephone number, but are optional; and
- For an employee who checks “An Alien Authorized to Work Until….” and who were issued an I-94 card, he or she will also need to list the foreign passport number and country of issuance.
Section 2: Employer Review and Verification
Employers will need to list employee’s full name at the top of Page 2;
- List A now has room to list three documents, which is helpful to the employer because the prior form only had room for two documents and there are occasions when three documents are required, e.g., J-1 visa holders or F-1 students completing Optional Practical Training;
- Certification Box - adds numbers to the items the HR representative must attest to when reviewing the documents and separates out the place where the employer is required to insert the employee’s first date of work for pay;
- The List of Acceptable Documents, List A, Number 5 has revised language but essentially includes the same information regarding accepting foreign passports and I-94 cards;
- The List of Acceptable Documents, List C, Number 1 provides clarification that Social Security Cards containing restrictions, such as “Not Valid For Employment,” “Valid for Work Only with INS Authorization,” or “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization” are not acceptable as List C documents; and
- The List of Acceptable Documents includes a reference to Section 2 of the Handbook for Employers regarding information about acceptable receipts.
Section 3: Reverification & Rehires
- Provides clarification that List B identity documents do not require reverification; and
- Adds a field for the Employer representative to print his or her name.