On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) published a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 (“I-9”). With a revision date of March 8, 2013 (and an expiration date of March 31, 2016), the new I-9 became effective immediately. The USCIS will continue to accept older I-9’s until May 7, 2013. After that date, employers will be required to use 3/8/2013 I-9.1 Employers that fail to use the updated I-9 may be subjected to fines and penalties. Employers do not have to complete a new I-9 for current employees who already have a complete I-9 on file. In the cases of reverification or rehires, however, the new version of the 1-9 must be used.
The USCIS hopes that the changes will make the I-9 easier to complete. The new two-page format clarifies who must complete each part of the I-9: (1) the employee (and its translator, if any) must complete page one; and (2) the employer (or its authorized representative) must complete page two.
Below is a brief overview of some of the changes in the updated I-9:
Updates in Section One:
- The Section One header clarifies that Section One must be completed by the employee no later than the first day of employment.
- It also clarifies that an employee cannot be required to complete Section One before receiving an offer of employment.
- There is a mandatory field for the employee to cite “Other Names Used.” If an employee has no other legal names, they should enter “N/A.”
- There is an optional field for an employee’s email address and telephone number. If an employee chooses not to fill in this field, he or she should enter “N/A.”
- An employee who holds non-immigrant work authorizing status (neither a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident, or national of the United States) must enter the date employment authorization expires, if applicable.
- Employees with non-immigrant status must enter Alien Registration Number (also known as an “A Number”), USCIS Number, or Admission Number. The I-9’s instruction’s indicate that USCIS appears to favor an A Number or the USCIS number over an Admission Number.
- The I-9 also requires the employee to enter his or her passport number and country of passport issuance if the employee’s Admission Number was issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in connection with their arrival in the United States.
Updates in Section Two:
- USCIS clarifies that an employer or its authorized representative must complete Section Two within three business days of the employee’s first day of employment.
- The employer who examines the employee’s documents must be the same person who signs this section and the examiner and the employee must both be physically present during the examination.
Updates in "List of Acceptable Documents”:
- Clarifies that a Social Security Card may not be used as a “List C” document if it contains the following restrictions: (1) “Not Valid for Employment;” (2) “Valid for Work Only with INS Authorization;” or (3) “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization.”
A copy of the 03/08/13 N Employment Eligibility Verification is available at: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.
1The revision date can be found on the lower-left corner of the Form I-9.