March 12, 2013Client Alert

New Version of Form I-9 Now Available

Employers can immediately begin using the new Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13) to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their new hires and for reverification purposes. Effective May 8, 2013, employers must use the new version of Form I-9. Employers who fail to use the new version of Form I-9 after May 8 may be subject to penalties. The new Form I-9 and its instructions are available here.

The Department of Homeland Security issued the newly-designed Form I-9 and revised its instructions to minimize errors in completing the Form and to gather new types of information. The Form I-9 has been reformatted for clarity and is now a two-page (rather than a one-page) document. Additional data fields within the new Form I-9 allow for input of the employee’s telephone number and email address, as well as the employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable). Employers should note that, although a Spanish-language version of the new Form I-9 is available, this version may be used only in Puerto Rico.

The essential rules for Form I-9 completion continue to apply. Specifically, employers must complete a Form I-9 for all new employees, including U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Employers need not complete a new Form I-9 for current employees for whom a properly-completed Form I-9 already exists, unless reverification applies. When completing a Form I-9, employers may accept only original documents that "reasonably appear genuine on their face" and must review this documentation with the employee physically present.

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