The federal government recently published a revised Form I-9 (technically, the “Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9”) to help establish an employee’s legal eligibility to work in the United States. Employers are required to use this new form beginning May 7, 2013, for all new hires and re-verifications of employment in the U.S.

The Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of applicants for jobs in the U.S. All employers are required to complete the Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States, including citizens and noncitizens.

The revised Form I-9 has been reformatted and now includes new fields and instructions for both employees and employers. Although employers are not required to begin using the revised Form I-9 until May 7, the government advises that employers should begin using the revised form as soon as possible.

An employer must retain and store each employee's Form I-9 either for three years after the employee’s date of hire or for one year after his or her employment has been terminated, whichever is later. The form must be available for inspection by authorized U.S. government officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor and Department of Justice. Employers do not need to complete a new Form I-9 for current employees if a properly completed Form I-9 is already on file..