New Form I-9 and Handbook for Employers Issued – Delayed Effective Date
On March 8, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security issued a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (“Form”). The current version of the Form expired last August; however, implementation of a new Form was delayed when the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) received over 6,000 comments on the draft version it had issued earlier in 2012 and re-opened the comment period. Nonetheless, despite numerous objections to the proposed changes, the new final Form essentially mirrors the initial draft.
While the new Form may be used immediately, the USCIS has granted employers until May 7, 2013, to begin using the new version for all new hires and reverifications. There have been reports that the E-verify Program is claiming that the new Form must be used immediately. This is not true; employers have until May 7th.
Before beginning to use the new Form, we recommend carefully reviewing the new Form and its new instructions as well as reviewing the new Handbook for Employers issued on March 13, 2013 to ensure that your staff understands how to properly complete the new Form. Please be sure that the Form you are using has “03/08/2013 N” at the bottom of the page on the left side.
The most significant changes to the new Form include:
New data fields requesting information not requested in prior Form versions;
Expanded format/layout of the Form; and
Expanded instructions (6 pages) for the Form.
The new Form is two pages, instead of the traditional single page. The first page consists solely of Section 1 which is for the employee. The second page includes both Section 2 and Section 3, but pertains solely to the employer.
In Section 1, the grid for employee information has been completely reformatted. The Form more clearly requests full last names and specifies that all “other” names should be listed, not just maiden names. In addition, the Form requests the employee’s email address and telephone number. However, the Form does not make it clear that these are optional. The Form also no longer indicates that the social security number is optional in certain circumstances.
The “Status box” now encompasses nearly a quarter of a page and requests more detailed information, especially from those employees who qualify as “aliens authorized to work.” Even the Preparer/Translator box has become a full section with more expansive information requested.
Employers must now also include the employee’s full name at the beginning of Section 2 which is at the top of the second page. The section for recording information on documentation presented by the employee now covers nearly one-third of the page and will allow employers to more easily record List A “documents” that consist of multiple documents. Further, the line for recording an employee’s start date has been separated from the attestation clause. Even Section 3 has been re-vamped and gives employers additional room to record information on documentation and a place to print the name of the person completing the Section.
This synopsis provides employers with basic information on the new Form. However, we would not recommend beginning to use the new Form until a thorough review of the Form, instructions, and Handbook have been completed. We will also be covering the new Form at our Labor Law Forum next month. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.