On or before May 7, 2013, Employers must use the new I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form (“Form I-9”) to comply with employment eligibility verification responsibilities for all new hires.

The new Form I-9 was released by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) on March 8, 2013. The new form is available for immediate use, though the USCIS has established a 60-day transition period from the date of publication to ease the burden of implementation on employers. During that transition period, employers will be able to use either prior versions or the new updated Form I-9.

Employers who fail to use the new form by the May 7, 2013 compliance deadline are subject to applicable civil fines and criminal penalties. Employers do not need to complete the new Form I-9 for current employees for whom there is a properly completed Form I-9 on file, unless re-verification is applicable.

The following significant revisions were made to the Form I-9:

  • The addition of new data fields, including a field for an employer’s foreign passport information;
  • Improvements to the Form I-9’s instructions; and
  • Revisions to the layout of the form, such as expanding it from 1 to 2 pages.

Employers may access an electronic version of the new Form I-9 on the USCIS website. An updated version of the “Handbook for Employers” that provides guidance for completing the Form I-9 also is available on the USCIS website.