Employers must begin using the new version of Form I-9 on May 7, 2013. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced publication of the revised Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification on March 8, 2013. Employers are required to use the Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization eligibility of employees.
Changes to the Form
Employers should familiarize themselves with the Form. It contains several changes, including the following:
The form now has two pages to complete; page one is for the employee to complete, while fields for information about documents reviewed and for the employer certification are on page two. A warning on the bottom of page 1 — “STOP. Employer Completes Next Page” – is designed to ensure that the employer does not overlook the second page.
Fields for additional data have been added:
- “Other Names Used” (The “maiden name” field is gone.)
- Boxes to fill for the Social Security number, instead of an open text field. (The instructions clarify that providing a Social Security Number is optional, unless the employer uses E-Verify, in which case the number must be added to the I-9.)
- Employee e-mail address and telephone number (The instructions clarify that this information is optional, but that if it is provided, DHS may contact the employee in the event of a mismatch with Social Security records.)
- “USCIS Number” (Though listed as an alternative to the “Alien Registration Number,” it is the same number.)
- “Form I-94 Admission Number,” issued by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on entry to the U.S. – required only if it appears on a work authorization document
- Foreign passport information
- On page 2, a field for employee name from Section 1
- A third set of fields for “List A” identity and employment authorization document information
In the “Certification” section, specification that the employee representative is attesting to the following:
- I have examined the document(s) presented by the above-named employee;
- The above-listed document(s) appear [sic] to be genuine and to relate to the employee named, an
- To the best of my knowledge the employee is authorized to work in the United States.
- Boxes for 3-D Barcode – the purpose of these fields are not described.
The revised form clarifies the timeframe for completion, indicating that “Employees must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of employment, but not before accepting a job offer.”
As indicated on the instructions, the Form is required for newly hired employees. When rehiring an employee within three years of the date Form I-9 was originally completed, employers have the option to complete a new Form I-9 or complete Section 3 of the previously completed form.
Regarding document retention, the form instructions indicate that employers may, but are not required to, photocopy documents employees present for completion of the Form I-9, but that photocopies must be retained and presented with Form I-9 in case of an inspection by DHS or other federal government agency.
The I-9 is available on the USCIS website.