Friday, April 12, 2013

New Form I-9 Issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

A revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 has been published by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS").  Employers are allowed to immediately begin to use the form, but beginning on May 7, 2013, employers must use the new form. Until then, the government has provided employers with a grace period during which they may continue to use the old form or may switch to the new form, at their option. If employers fail to use the new form after May 7, 2013, it may result in fines. The new form is two pages and includes additional information to be provided by employees. In particular, the new form requests the employee's telephone number, email address, and foreign passport number. For their part, employers are still required to provide the same information as required under the old Form I-9. USCIS also has released a new Handbook for Employers, known as the M-274, which provides additional guidance on completing the new Form I-9. The new Form I-9 must be completed for all new hires as well as for re-verifying current employees with expiring employment authorization documentation beginning May 7, 2013. It is not necessary to complete a new Form I-9 for existing employees who do not require re-verification.