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The New Form I-9 and How to Properly Use It!

On March 8, 2013, USCIS announced that all U.S. employers should begin using Form I-9 [with a revision date of “(Rev. 03/08/13)N”)] to comply with their employment eligibility verification responsibilities for NEW employees.  The revision date is located in the bottom left-hand corner of the form.  

Here is a PDF version of the new Form I-9.  After May 7, 2013, all prior versions of Form I-9 can no longer be used and employers who fail to use the new Form I-9 will be subject to all penalties, as enforced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).  

The key revisions to the Form I-9 include:
  • Adding data fields, including the employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable) and telephone and e-mail addresses.
  • Improving the form’s instructions.
  • Revising the layout of the form, expanding the form from one to two pages (not including the form instructions and the List of Acceptable Documents) with the employee filling out the first page and the employer filling out the second page.

In response to this announcement, we urge employers to follow these recommendations:
  1. Immediately familiarize yourself with the new Form I-9, including the official instructions attached to the form.
  2. Identify an individual or a team within your organization who will be responsible for overseeing your organization’s transition to using the new Form I-9, including modifying existing policies and procedures as necessary.
  3. If your organization is utilizing electronic Form I-9 software to manage the Form I-9 process, begin working immediately with the software developer or vendor to make sure necessary updates are made and implemented timely.
  4. Do not require current employees for whom there is already a properly completed Form I-9 on file to complete the new Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13)N unless re-verification applies.  Also keep in mind that unnecessary verification may violate the anti-discrimination provision, which is enforced by DOJ’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices.
  5. Now is an excellent time to conduct an audit of your organization’s I-9 forms to assess compliance and to identify corrections that can be made to limit potential liability.  It is essential that you utilize the services of an attorney who has experience conducting such audits.
The most complicated one-page government form has now been "improved" by making it a 2-page form.  Don't neglect or delay your organization's implementation of the new version of the I-9 form and don't underestimate the importance of making sure your organization is complying with this important regulation.


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