The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of all employees hired after November 6, 1986. To comply with that legal obligation, the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9), was created for employers to use for each employee hired. Employers are further required to maintain completed Forms I-9 throughout the respective employee’s employment and thereafter either for three years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later. An employer’s Forms I-9 are subject to inspection by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the U.S. Department of Labor to ensure compliance with various immigration, anti-discrimination, and wage and hour laws.
Since its introduction, the Form I-9 has undergone several revisions. Past versions no longer valid for use include those bearing the following revision dates: May 1987, November 1991, May 2005, November 2007, June 2007, June 2008 and February 2009. An employer’s use of an expired Form I-9 for completing the requisite verification process amounts to an administrative violation that may result in fines in the event of an inspection.
The current Form I-9 with the revision date of “08/07/09” expired on August 30, 2012. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) previously announced that employers were to continue using this version of the Form I-9 after that expiration date until such time a replacement Form I-9 became available.
On March 8, 2013, USCIS made available the much anticipated new Form I-9, which is available on their website, reflecting a revision date of “03/08/13” on the lower left corner of the form. Although employers should begin using the newest form immediately, older forms with a revision date of “02/02/09” and “08/07/09” are acceptable for use up to, and including, May 7, 2013.
The newest version of Form I-9 represents the most significant revision of the form since its last major revision in November 1991.