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Revised I-9 Form Now Available and Will Be Mandatory Effective May 7, 2013

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released on Friday, March 8, 2013 its new Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) that all employers are required to use to verify the identity and employment authorization eligibility of their employees. The new form may be used immediately, but must be used beginning no later than May 7, 2013.

Previously a one-page form, the new version is now a two-page form. The DHS claims that the new format was designed to minimize completion errors. Key revisions made to Form I-9 include:

  • additional employee data fields, including other names used, e-mail address, telephone number and foreign passport number for authorized aliens;
  • clearer instructions to both employees and employers;
  • reformatted layout, expanding from one to two pages.

While the Department of Homeland Security announces that employers “must use the new Form I-9 immediately,” the government acknowledges that “some employers may need additional time in order to make necessary updates to their business processes to allow for use of the new Form I-9” including those using electronic forms. As a result, no enforcement action will be taken until May 7th and employers may use the prior version until then. An employer is not required to, and must not ask current employees to complete the new I-9 form.

The new Form I-9 is available here. Stay tuned for our upcoming tips on avoiding potential completion errors presented by the format of the new Form I-9.