04.04.13 |
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USCIS Releases Revised Form I-9

This article was originally featured in our ADP Eye on Washington update.

On March 8, 2013, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced in the Federal Register that a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) is now available. 

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires employers to verify that all newly hired employees present documentation verifying their identity and legal authorization to accept employment in the United States. Form I-9 is provided by the federal government to verify identity and employment eligibility. Every newly hired employee must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of employment. As part of the process, employees must present a document or a combination of documents that establish identity and legal authorization to work in the United States.

Employers are required to maintain I-9s for as long as an individual works for the employer and for the required retention period after the employee terminates. The required retention period is either three years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment ended, whichever is later.

Note: Employers do not need to complete the new Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13 N) for current employees for whom there is already a properly completed I-9 on file, unless re-verification applies.

Updates for Form I-9 
When releasing the revised I-9, the USCIS stated that employers should begin using Form I-9 with a revision date of (Rev. 03/08/13 N) to comply with their employment eligibility verification responsibilities right away. Past versions of the I-9 with the dates of February 2, 2009 or August 7, 2009 will be accepted only until May 7, 2013. After May 7, 2013, employers who fail to use Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13 N) may be subject to penalties.

The revised I-9 with a revision date of March 8, 2013 and an expiration date of March 31, 2016 is now two pages rather than one and its instructions have been expanded from four to seven pages. Highlights of the changes to the I-9 include the following.

•   The instructions now clarify that border commuters from Canada and Mexico may use foreign addresses in Section 1 (but that all other employees must use U.S. addresses).

•   The instructions now confirm that P.O. boxes are not acceptable.

•   The instructions now clearly state that the SSN (for employers who do not use E-Verify), e-mail and telephone numbers are optional.

Section 1:
•   The instructions (in the heading) have been clarified to read: Employees must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of employment, but not before accepting a job offer.

•   The form has updated terminology to make it more user-friendly, to reflect a better understanding of cultural norms, and to be more gender-neutral (“Family Name” in addition to “Last,” and “Other Names Used,” instead of “Maiden name”).

•   Data fields have been added for E-mail Address and Telephone Number, although these fields are optional.

•   Below the checkbox for “aliens authorized to work,” data fields have been added for Alien Registration Number/USCIS Number OR Form I-94 Admission Number.

•   Data fields have been added for Foreign Passport Number and Country of Issuance (if applicable).

•   Employee must provide all other legal names used, including maiden names. If the employee has used no other legal names, “N/A” should be inserted.

Section 2:
•   The instructions (in the heading) have been clarified to read: Employers or their authorized representative must complete and sign Section 2 within three business days of the employee’s first day of employment. You must physically examine one document from List A OR examine a combination of one document from List B and one document from List C as listed on the “Lists of Acceptable Documents” on the next page of this form. For each document you review, record the following information: document title, issuing authority, document number, and expiration date, if any.

•   The revised instructions clarify that the person who examines the employee’s documents must be the same person who signs Section 2 and that the examiner and the employee must both be physically present during
the examination.

•   The form now includes three dedicated fields for recording List A documents. Employers have previously struggled with the correct ways to document work authorization for foreign students, certain aliens authorized to work, and lawful permanent residents who have not yet received their green cards when using the old form.

Section 3:
•   The heading of Section now reads “Reverification and Rehires” to clarify that there is no requirement that employers update the form for employee name changes.

•   The signature line now includes a space to “Print Name of Employer or Authorized Representative.”

Lists of Acceptable Documents: 
•   The following note has been added above the lists, which are essentially unchanged: “Employees may present one selection from List A or a combination of one selection from List B and one selection from List C.”

•   In List A, item 5 has been reformatted and punctuated for clarity: For a nonimmigrant alien authorized to work for a specific employer because of his or her status: a. Foreign passport; and b. Form I-94 or Form I-94A that has the following: (1) The same name as the passport; and (2) An endorsement of the alien’s nonimmigrant status as long as that period of endorsement has not yet expired and the proposed employment is not in conflict with any restrictions or limitations identified on the form.

•   In List C, item 1 has been revised to include enumerated restrictions: A Social Security Account Number card, unless the card includes one of the following restrictions: (1) NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT (2) VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION (3) VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION.

For a copy of the Federal Register announcing the revised I-9, please click on the link provided below.

For a copy of the revised I-9, please click on the link provided below.


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