USCIS Issues New I-9 Form (Effective as of March 8, 2013)

On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised version of the I-9 Form, Employment Eligibility Verification. All employers must complete a Form I-9 for each new employee hired in the United States.

Employers immediately should begin using the revised Form I-9 for all new hires. Employers do NOT need to update their existing I-9s, but should start using the new version effective immediately. The USCIS allows employers a two month transition period during which they may continue to use earlier versions of the Form I-9 (dated 02/02/09 and 08/07/09), however, all employers must use the newest version (dated 03/08/13) as of May 7, 2013 and thereafter. Employers also must use the revised I-9 for reverifications on employees with temporary work authorizations, which are subject to renewal. For a reverification, the employer needs to complete Section 3 of the new form and attach the new I-9 to the employee's existing I-9 already on file.

Note that the revised Form I-9 is now two (2) pages instead of one (1) and includes new fields, formatting, and instructions for both employees and employers. Also note that the new instructions require that all documentation must be unexpired, whereas, previously, the USCIS allowed employers to accept expired versions of certain documents. You can access the new Form I-9 from the USCIS website by clicking the following link:http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf. The revised Form I-9 also is available in Spanish, but employers only can use the Spanish version for employees located in Puerto Rico.

Federal law requires that, within the first three (3) days of employment, employees must present their employer with documents evidencing that they are legally eligible for employment in the U.S. Employers and employees each must complete and sign the relevant portion of the Form I-9: employees must complete and sign Section 1 and employers must complete and sign Section 2, including the Certification section. Employers should review the documents presented and may copy them and attach the copies to the employee’s Form I-9 as documentation – copying is recommended but not required. Employers may not dictate what specific documents an employee must provide, and must accept any of the documents listed on the instructions to the current version of the Form I-9.

If you have any questions or if you want or need to conduct an audit of your Form I-9 compliance, whether voluntarily or due to contractual or governmental mandate, we can help. The attorneys at ZH have experience performing Form I-9 and immigration compliance audits, and Douglas Zucker is designated as a Preferred Worker Verification Auditor for Form I-9 compliance by one of the nation’s largest employers.


If you have questions about the Form I-9 or immigration laws generally, please contact Douglas S. Zucker at DSZ@zuckerhatfield.com or Kathryn V. Hatfield at KVH@zuckerhatfield.com.