It’s baaaaack — the feds have issued a new I-9 form for you to certify new hires’ eligibility for employment.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released the revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for use by all employers.
According to a press release, “improvements” to the new form include new fields, reformatting to reduce errors, and clearer instructions to both employees and employers.
The Department of Homeland Security recently published a notice in the Federal Register informing employers of the new form.
So as of now:
- Employers should begin using the newly revised Form I-9 for all new hires and re-verifications.
- Employers may continue to use previously accepted revisions forms until May 7, 2013, and
- After May 7, employers must only use the latest Form I-9.
Here’s a small consolation: If you’ve already got a completed I-9 on current employees, you don’t have to fill out new versions for those folks.
A Spanish version of the new form is available on the USCIS website for use in Puerto Rico only. Spanish-speaking employers and employees in the 50 states, Washington, DC, and other U.S. territories may use the Spanish version for reference, but must complete the English version of the form.
Changes in format, documentation
According to the Fredrikson & Byron law firm’s blog, here’s a rundown of the changes to the I-9:
- Revised Layout: Form I-9 has been expanded from one page to two pages (not including the form instructions and the list of acceptable documents). This is due to additional new fields in Section 1.
- Additional Data Fields: Section 1 of the I-9, which requires identifying information about the employee, includes new data fields for foreign passport information (where applicable), telephone number and email addresses.
- The data fields for telephone number and email addresses are optional, and the instructions provide that the Department of Homeland Security may contact employees if it learns there is a potential mismatch between information provided on the I-9 and information in DHS and Social Security Administration records. There are also boxes for a 3-D barcode on both pages of the new Form I-9; however, USCIS hasn’t clarified the purpose for the boxes.
- Changes to Instructions: The new document now contains more detailed instructions on completing the form and to the lists of acceptable documents. For example, it provides specific situations when a Social Security card can’t be used as a document to establish employment authorization.