New I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form Implemented

Starting March 8, 2013, the new I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form went into effect. We would like to remind all employers that earlier versions of the form are now invalid. As of the 8th of March, employers who fail to use the newly revised form are subject to all applicable penalties under section 274A of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1324a. However the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does recognize that additional time must be allocated to employers, as not everyone will be able to update their business processes immediately. This is especially true in cases where employers use electronic systems for forms, as the electronic systems may not update the forms immediately. For these reasons, USCIS is allowing for a 60-day grace period, during which employers might not be penalized for failing to use the correct version of the form.

The revision to the I-9 are meant to minimize errors during the process of completing the form. There are three main revisions:

1. Data fields were added, such as the employee’s foreign passport information, telephone number, and email address.

2. The layout of the form has been expanded from one page to two pages, excluding instructions.

3. The instructions have been improved in order to simplify the process of filling out the form.

It is to be noted that employers do not need to fill out a new I-9 for existing employees who still have a properly completed I-9 on file. Only in the case of re-verification are employers obligated to have their existing employees fill out a new I-9. Otherwise, unnecessary verification may result in a violation of the anti-discrimination provision 1324b.

For more information regarding the new I-9 Form, please click here.

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