On Friday, March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a newly revised Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9), which employers are required to use to verify the identity and employment eligibility of each individual they hire to work in the United States. The new Form I-9, with a revision date of “(Rev. 03/08/13)N,” will replace prior versions “(Rev. 08/07/09)Y” and “(Rev. 02/02/09) N.” The newly revised Form I-9 contains several formatting changes and improved instructions designed to minimize errors in form completion. Additional data fields have also been added, including spaces for the employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable) and the option of the employee providing their personal telephone and email addresses.
The new Form I-9 becomes effective immediately, and employers should begin using the “(Rev. 03/08/13) N” form for new hires as of March 8, 2013, to comply with their employment verification obligations. Employers should not complete the new form for current employees for whom there is already a properly completed Form I-9 on file, unless re-verification is required by law (i.e., the current employee’s employment authorization or employment authorization documentation has expired). Employers should also be aware that unnecessary re-verification may violate the anti-discrimination provision under Section 274B of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA), at 8 U.S.C. § 1324b.
Because it may take some employers longer than others to switch over to the newly revised form, USCIS is providing a 60-day grace period for compliance. However, older versions of Form I-9 may no longer be used effective May 7, 2013. After that date, employers who fail to use Form I-9 “(Rev. 03/08/13)N” may be subject to all applicable penalties under Section 274A of the INA, 8 U.S.C. § 1324a, which may include injunctions, civil fines and even criminal penalties.