On March 8, 2013, the
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
released a new edition of the Employment Eligibility Verification
I-9 Form, featuring a
longer format, several new information fields and more detailed instructions.
The new version, dated March 8, 2013, is available for immediate use and will
become mandatory on May 8, 2013. Through May 7,
you may continue to use
the February 2, 2009, and August 7, 2009, editions of the I-9 Form. In the cases
of re-verification or rehires, the new version of the I-9 Form (Rev. 03/08/13)N
must be used.
How has the I-9 Form changed?
The new 9-page edition expands the I-9 Form to two fill-in-able
pages (plus the list of acceptable documents) and provides fuller explanations
of many key sections of the form, including:
- Detailed instructions on how non-immigrants should enter immigration
document information in Section 1 of the form;
- Step-by-step instructions for employers on how to complete
I-9 Form when a new hire presents a receipt in lieu of
an acceptable document;
- Step-by-step instructions on when and how an employer should re-verify
an employee’s I-9 information;
- More detailed information on the identity and work authorization
documents an employer may accept; and
- A reminder to employers that attaching copies of a new hire’s identity
and work documents does not exclude the need to enter the relevant
information on the I-9 Form itself.
Completing the New Information Fields
The form includes several new information fields for employees:
Email address and telephone number
field. Employees have the option to list their email address and
telephone number on the I-9 Form, but are not required to do so. The Department of
Homeland Security has stated that it will use this information to contact an
employee whose I-9 information does not match DHS or Social Security
Administration records. Employees who choose not to include contact information
should enter “N/A” in these fields.
Foreign passport number and country of
issuance. Foreign nationals who are authorized to work in the
United States (other than lawful permanent residents) may be required to list
their foreign passport number and country of issuance on the I-9 Form. The rules
concerning this new requirement are complex, and will depend on how the foreign
national received an I-94 arrival-departure record.
Foreign passport information is required if the new hire’s current I-94 was
issued on arrival in the United States by Customs and Border Protection. No
foreign passport information is required if the new hire’s current I-94 was
issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within the United States –
for example, when an application to change or extend status was approved on his
or her behalf. In this case, the new hire should enter “N/A” in these fields.
The new edition in some ways should make the I-9 Form easier to complete and
reduce confusion about some aspects of the verification process. However, the
new fields and instructions on the revised form raise a number of questions.
Most importantly, it is not yet clear how U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) will enforce errors or omissions related to the revised form.
For example, we do not yet know how ICE would treat deviations from the very
precise instructions in the form and whether errors related to the new fields on
the form will be treated as technical or substantive I-9 errors -- a important
distinction that affects how I-9 penalties are assessed. USCIS is expected to
issue a new M-274 I-9 handbook for employers that may provide greater clarity
regarding the revisions to the form.
If you have any questions, please contact the Payroll Office at ext. 4124.