New Form I-9 Now Available
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) released a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, on March 8, 2013.
When to use the new form
Employers could begin using the new Form I-9 as early as its release date of March 8, 2013; the USCIS is encouraging employers to use the new form immediately. However, the agency recognizes that employers – particularly those using electronic Form I-9 systems – may need some time to adjust to the new form. As such, employers have until May 7, 2013, to begin using the new form. After May 7, the two versions of the Form I-9 previously available for use (Rev. 08/07/2009 and Rev. 02/02/2009) will not be valid for use.
The most notable changes on the new form
The new form (which bears a revised expiration date of 03/26/2016) contains formatting changes, additional data fields, and expanded instructions. Employers will also notice a revised layout for the form. Aside from the additional guidance provided in the form’s instructions, some of the most notable changes include the following:
- A two-page form
The I-9 form itself went from a single page to two pages. Employers are required to retain both pages of the Form I-9 on which the employer and the employee enter information. Employers may copy the Form I-9 as a double-sided page to ease with retention, but it’s also a good practice to keep the Lists of Acceptable Documents with an employee’s Form I-9.
- New email address & phone number fields
New to Section 1, these fields are optional for employees to complete. The USCIS has indicated that these are meant to assist the government in contacting employees regarding verification of their employment status. Employees who prefer not to provide the information may enter “N/A” (for “not applicable”) in these fields.
- A reworked employee attestation section
This portion of Section 1 has been expanded to be much more prominent and provide more direction for employees. It also comes with additional fields to be completed by an employee who selects “an alien authorized to work until…”
- A 3-D barcode
Found in both Section 1 and 2, the 3-D barcode area is a placeholder for future technology to be implemented by the USCIS. This area is not the employer’s concern, but is for USCIS use only. Employers should not write in this space.
New forms not required for existing employees
Employers are not to complete the new Form I-9 for current employees (for whom there is already a properly completed Form I-9 on file). The revised Form I-9 should be used for newly hired employees and for any existing employees whose temporary work authorization requires re-verification.
Please note: With the new Form I-9, employers would be wise to designate an individual within their organization to be in charge of understanding and implementing the new Form I-9 requirements. In the meantime, the federal focus on Form I-9 audits and employer compliance continues, so employers would be wise to take this deceptively simple form seriously.
For access to the new form, please visit Vensure’s Client Center as current year tax forms are updated as they are made available by federal and state agencies.
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