All employers are reminded that the newly revised I-9 form, issued by the Department of Homeland Security on March 8, 2013, must be used for all new hires beginning today.  Use of the older version of the form after today will constitute a technical violation that can be corrected either by completing the new version of the form or attaching an acknowledgement memo to the old form.

The new form contains two fields in Section 1 that are voluntary, although this is not apparent from the form itself.  Specifically, an employee’s telephone number and email address are not required when completing Section 1.

Starting today, employers should also use the new version of the form when reverifying the employment eligibility of someone who completed a prior version of the form.  It is not necessary to use the new version of the form to record a rehire if the individual previously was hired less than three (3) years ago and their prior I-9 documentation remains valid at the time of rehire.

There are two boxes on the new form containing bar code information.  Although the purpose of these remains a mystery, employers are instructed not to write in these boxes.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services also has confirmed that an entire set of instructions must be given to each new hire prior to completion of the new I-9 form.  We recommend that employers prepare a laminated version of the instructions to provide to each new hire when completing the form.  Employers using electronic I-9 software also should ensure that an entire set of instructions is available to each new hire.