Use of the new form is mandatory starting May 7, 2013.

As we reported earlier, on March 8, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a newly revised Employment Eligibility Verification form, Form I-9, which employers are required to use to verify the identity and employment authorization of newly hired employees.[1 Employers must use the new Form I-9 immediately. Use of prior versions of the Form I-9 is no longer permitted. The Federal Register announcement from March 8, 2013, details these new requirements. [2]

Where Can I Find the New Form?

The new form can be downloaded here.

The newly updated M-274 Handbook for Employers from USCIS is available here.

What Are the Changes to the Form I-9?

The key revisions to the Form I-9 include the following:

  • Expanding the Form I-9 to two pages
  • Adding additional data fields, including fields for an employee's foreign passport information (if applicable) and telephone number and email address (optional)
  • Expanding the form's instructions

Are There Other Changes or Best Practices for the New Form?

  • Employees must receive the full set of instructions, for both the employee and employer portions, when completing the Form I-9. USCIS confirmed that employers may not restate or reformat the Form I-9 instructions, but they may laminate the official Form I-9 instructions for distribution to new employees.
  • A printed electronic Form I-94 record may be accepted in lieu of an original Form I-94. Implementation of the new Form I-9 coincides with an announcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that it is converting to an electronic Form I-94 and doing away with the paper version. Employers will need to be familiar with the new electronic Form I-94 record.[3]
  • There are two new optional fields in section 1 of Form I-9 for an employee's telephone number and email address. Although the form does not state so, the instructions confirm that these fields are optional. A best practice is to ensure that "N/A" is used in all fields where there is no applicable information in both sections 1 and 2. Note that if the employee has no other names, he or she must record "N/A" in the corresponding field.
  • Use the new Form I-9 for all reverifications. If an employee presented documents at the time of hire that are expiring and need to be reverified, the employer may not use section 3 of an outdated form to record the reverification of the updated documents. Employers must use section 3 of a valid Form I-9 to record all reverifications of expiring employment authorization.
  • Employers may no longer pre-fill section 1 of Form I-9. Though not directly related to the rollout of the new Form I-9, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently stated that employers may no longer pre-fill parts of section 1 of Form I-9. Previously, employers were permitted to do so provided that they also completed the "preparer/translator" section. This is a particular issue for employers who use electronic Form I-9 systems that are linked to electronic payroll or on-boarding platforms.