The Form I-9 is used to verify and document the identity and employment eligiblity of each new hire. This is one of the primary tools used by the government in trying to stem "illegal" immigration and to protect the U.S. workforce. In March 2013 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service published a new Form I-9 that was available for use immediately. Use of the new Form I-9 becomes mandatory on May 7th.

The new Form I-9 is required for all new hires on or after May 7, 2013. Failure to use the updated Form I-9 following the implementation date may result in fines ranging from $110 to $1,100 for each incorrect form. Failure to properly complete and maintain an appropriate Form on each employee may result in fines ranging from $110 to $16,000 per incident.

As with the old Form I-9, Section 1 must be completed by the employee on or before the first day of employment. Section 2 must be completed by the employer within three business days of the first day of employment - but we always recommend it be completed on the first day of employment.

The new Form I-9 has sent many employers into a frenzy. Relax just a little as the revisions are more cosmetic than substantive, but compliance is still the goal. Basically, the revised Form includes: (1) a new format, (2) clearer instructions, and (3) additional data fields.

  • Format: No longer can we immigration lawyers (as well as HR professionals) lament that the Form I-9 is the most difficult one page form on the face of the earth - it has expanded to two pages! The first page of the Form includes Section 1 (the Employee section) and the second page contains the employer's sections for verification and reverification.
  • Instructions: The Form I-9 includes updated and more detailed instructions.
  • Data Fields: The Form I-9 asks for several new items of information from employees, including the employee's email address, telephone number, social security number and foreign passport information.