U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that employers should continue using the current version of Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 even after the August 31, 2012 expiration date printed on the form.Employers must use Form I-9 to verify the employment eligibility of any person hired in the United States to perform labor or provide services in return for wages or other remuneration. The form must be completed within three business days of the first day of work for pay. The current version of the Form I-9 has an expiration date of August 31, 2012 printed in the upper right corner and a revision date of August 7, 2009 printed in the lower right corner. While employers should generally use this version in verifying employment authorization, the instructions for Form I-9 also state that the prior version of the form with a February 2, 2009 revision date also is acceptable.

A new version of Form I-9 is in the works. On March 27, 2012, USCIS published a proposed revision to Form I-9 and its instructions.

The proposed revision would expand Form I-9 from two to three pages. It also would provide more-detailed instructions as well as clearer explanations about the specific information required in key fields. Notable changes include new, optional data fields to collect the employee’s email address and telephone number, and new data fields to collect the foreign passport number and country of issuance, in cases where employees use a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, and their foreign passport to document work authorization.

In line with the proposed changes and federal rulemaking requirements, USCIS accepted comments on the proposed revisions through May 29, 2012. The announcement that employers should continue to use the current Form I-9 until further notice indicates that USCIS will not publish a final revised version of Form I-9 before the current Form I-9 expires. Please stay tuned to our Employment Law Updates for more information when the new Form I-9 goes into effect.