Revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) Now Available for Employers

By: Thelma Romano Kranyak, Esq.

On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) published a revised version of the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (“Form I-9”) that is now available for use. This new form includes new fields, has been reformatted to reduce errors, and contains user-friendly instructions for both employees and employers.

All U.S. employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee (citizen or noncitizen) hired in the United States in order to verify the employee’s employment eligibility and identity. It is the U.S. employer’s responsibility to ensure the Form I-9 is properly and timely completed for each individual they hire for employment in the United States.

An employee must complete Section 1 of the form by no later than the first day of employment. The form requires an employee to attest to his or her employment authorization and provide his or her employer with acceptable original documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must complete Section 2 of the form by no later than the third business day after the employee begins work for pay. The employer must personally inspect the employment eligibility and identity documents that the employee presents to determine whether the documents reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee. Once examined, the employer must record the document information on the Form I-9. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form.

Effective March 8, 2013, U.S. employers should begin using the newly revised Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13) for all new hires and reverifications. Employers may, however, 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 the updated Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13)N. The revision date of the Form I-9 is printed on the lower left corner of the form. Please note that employers should not complete a new Form I-9 for current employees if a properly completed Form I-9 is already on file. The form is simply a new version of the form to be used going forward; this is not a requirement for employers to reverify or have employees complete new forms if not otherwise required.

As a reminder, employers are required to retain a Form I-9 for each employee for three years after the employee’s date of hire, or one year after the date that employment is terminated, whichever is later. Employers are permitted to retain the Form I-9 in paper, microfilm, microfiche or electronic format. Please note, if requested, all Form I-9s must be made available for inspection by authorized government officers.

Again, a copy of the newly revised Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13) can be found here.

Thelma Romano Kranyak is Of Counsel at Leech Tishman and focuses her practice on U.S. immigration and nationality law. She can be reached at tromanokranyak@leechtishman.com. Please feel free to contact Thelma with any questions regarding the new Form I-9. For more information about our Employment Practice Group, please click here.

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