On March 8, 2013, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services released a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (identified as Rev. 03/08/13). The new form is available for immediate use, and employers must begin using the updated Form for all new hires starting May 7, 2013.

Notable changes to the Form I-9 include:

  • Updated Instructions: The instructions are now six pages in length and provide better guidance about the obligations for both employees and employers. The revisions include a clearer explanation about when Form I-9 must be completed and when it must be updated.
  • Updated Layout: Form I-9 has been expanded from one to two pages, excluding the instructions and the list of acceptable documents. Formatting and layout changes were intended to make completing the form easier for both employees and employers. Employers should be sure to include the employee's name in the first field on page two.
  • Changes to Section One - Employee Information and Attestation: New data fields were added to Section One. The new data fields request the employee's foreign passport information, telephone number, and e-mail address. These new fields were added in an effort to facilitate employment verification matching with the E-Verify system.
  • Changes to Section Two - Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification: Section Two now includes an expanded document entry field. The new response fields were included to accommodate scenarios where an employee provides a combination of List A documents. Additionally, there is now additional space for information regarding SEVIS registration and Employment Authorization Documents (EAD). The Certification area also has been redesigned to clarify the three attestations an employer makes when certifying the Form.

As a reminder, new hires must complete Section One (now page one of the revised form) no later than the first day of employment. The employer must review the employee's original documents verifying identity and employment authorization and complete Section Two (now on page two of the revised form) within three business days of the employee's first day of employment.

Completing a new, revised Form I-9 for existing employees is required only if employment eligibility must be re-verified on or after May 7, 2013. Employers should use caution when identifying those employees requiring reverification. Unnecessary reverification may have the unintended effect of violating the Immigration and Nationality Act's anti-discrimination provision.