August 2013Newsletter

Employers Required to Use New Version of Form I-9

Agribusiness, Food and Beverage Newsletter

Remember that, effective May 8, 2013, employers must use the new version of Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13) to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees. Employers who fail to use the new version of Form I-9 after May 8 may be subject to civil money penalties and, in some case, criminal 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. 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 require employers to input 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, permanent residents and foreign employees. However, employers need not complete a new Form I-9 for current employees for whom a properly-completed Form I-9 already exists, unless re-verification applies. When completing a Form I-9, employers may accept only original documents that “reasonably appear genuine on their face.” Additionally, employers may not specify which documents employees should produce, and they may not require more documentation than is required by the Form I-9.

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