On March 8, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. DHS is providing a 60-day transition period, and the new form is mandatory as of May 8, 2013. The new document is nine pages, with detailed instructions taking up six of those nine pages. The I-9 Form itself (what must be completed by the employee and the employer) is now two pages. The last page is the I-9 List of Acceptable Documents. DHS also has issued an updated I-9 Handbook for Employers, which provides additional information about completing the I-9 Form and I-9 compliance.
DHS has revised the format of the I-9 Form, renamed some of the questions, and added a 3D barcode, which it plans to use at a future point after technology enhancements are made. DHS also has made other changes. The following are among the key changes on the new I-9 Form:
New Instructions to Form I-9:
§ 1: Employee’s Section
§ 2: Employer’s Section
List of Acceptable Documents
An employer must provide each employee with the instructions and List of Acceptable Documents when the employee is completing Form I-9. The employer, however, must retain only the two-page I-9 Form (pages 7 and 8). An employer should not redo existing I-9 Forms for current employees by completing the new I-9 Form. If, however, a current employee has temporary work authorization that is expiring, an employer must re-verify the current employee’s work authorization by using the new (2013) version of the I-9 Form. The employer should clip the existing I-9 Form to the new I-9 Form on which reverification (§ 3) is completed.
After May 7, 2013, employers may no longer use the 2009 version of the I-9 Form for new hires or re-verifications. In the past, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of DHS, has stated it may fine an employer for failing to use the correct version of the I-9 Form. Therefore, employers should plan to transition to the new version of the Form I-9 no later than May 8, 2013. A good transition plan will include a careful review of the new instructions, I-9 Form, List of Acceptable Documents, and I-9 Handbook before the new I-9 Form is used.