The United States government requires all employers to complete and retain a Form I-9 for all employees hired after November 5, 1986. This form is used to document the employee’s identity and to prove he or she is eligible to legally work in the United States.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a new version of the Form I-9, and employers should begin using the new Form I-9 no later than May 8, 2013. You can be sure you have the correct form if the revision date of “03/08/13 N” is in the bottom left corner of the document.
Employers do not need to complete a new Form I-9 for current employees whose eligibility was verified using the old Form I-9; however, foreign employees temporarily authorized to work in the U.S. will need to be re-verified using the new Form when their employment eligibility expires.
The new version of the Form I-9 is now 2 pages, whereas the old Form had only one page. For foreign employees authorized to work in the U.S., the new Form requires information about the foreign employee’s passport. The new Form also provides fields for an employee’s e-mail address and telephone number (if applicable).
There are also minor differences in the new Form’s “Lists of Acceptable Documents” page. The types of documents that may be used to verify employment eligibility have not changed, but the description of certain documents in “List A” and “List C” have been revised to help clarify common questions for employers.
The new Form’s instructions have changed to provide employers more detailed guidance and to resolve certain issues that arose when the using the old version.
Employers who fail to verify employment eligibility properly using the new Form beginning May 8, 2013 will be subject to penalties from $110 up to $1,100 per employee and could also be subject to criminal sanctions in some cases.
Do not send the Form I-9 to USCIS or to any other government agency. Employers must keep these completed forms for three years after the employee’s date of hire or for one year after the employment ends, whichever is later. An employer’s I-9 forms are subject to inspection by the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, and the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.
To download the new Form I-9 with instructions and/or for additional information, please visit the USCIS’s website at www.uscis.gov/i-9.
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