The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on March 7, 2013, that it is releasing a revised Form I-9 effective March 8, 2013. The form, which must be used to verify the work authorization of all employees, has been revised with more descriptive data fields and instructions in an effort to make the verification process more user-friendly. This additional guidance increases the length of the form to three pages (including the List of Acceptable Documents), plus an additional six pages of instructions.

According to USCIS, employers should begin using the new Form I-9 immediately. However, employers have a 60-day grace period to incorporate the new form into their HR practices. USCIS has stated that use of the previous versions of Form I-9 (which bear the date 02/02/09 or 08/07/09 in the bottom right-hand corner), will no longer be permitted after this 60-day period.

You can access the new form here. If you do not begin using the new Form I-9 immediately, be sure you are using it no later than May 7, 2013, to verify the work authorization of all new hires. Government agents have been prone to penalize employers who use outdated versions of the Form I-9 in the past, and may enforce use of this new form through the I-9 audit process after May 7, 2013.