Earlier this month the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a revised I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form. Since May 1986 all U.S. employers have been required to complete and maintain in their records an I-9 form to verify the identity and authorization of each new employee to work in the U.S. Once a new hire has completed the I-9, the employer must retain a copy of the I-9 form for three years from the date of hire, or one year from the date of termination, whichever is longer. (For example, an employer who terminates an employee after five years of employment must maintain that employee’s I-9 form for one year from the date of termination.) Employers that fail to complete the I-9 form or do not properly retain the I-9 form are subject to monetary penalties up to $1,100 per I-9, and criminal penalties may be imposed in certain cases.
The new I-9 form introduces the following changes:
- Requires employees who are aliens authorized to work under an I-94 card to state the foreign national passport number and country of issuance;
- Provides clarification under List C of acceptable documents that social security cards with restrictions, such as “Not Valid For Employment,” “Valid for Work Only with INS Authorization,” or “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization” are not acceptable List C documents;
- The List of Acceptable Documents now references Section 2 of the I-9 employer instructions for more information about acceptable receipts.
- Clarifies that List B identity documents do not require reverification;
- Adds a field for the employer representative’s name; and
- Provides optional fields for the employee’s email address and telephone number.
While the USCIS suggests that employers begin using the new I-9 form immediately, employers may continue to use an approved 2009 version of the form through May 6, 2013. Effective May 7, 2013, all employers must use the new I-9 form for new hires.
For more information on I-9 compliance, the e-verify program or other immigration law compliance issues, please contact Patrick W. McGovern at email@example.com or Rebecca Fink at firstname.lastname@example.org in our Immigration Law Practice Group.