New 2-Page Form I-9 Released and Required by May 7, 2013 - Articles

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Posted by: Christy Gibson on Mar 19, 2013

By Bruce E. Buchanan and Kate Tucker *

The long-awaited new 2-page Form I-9, which is dated “Rev. 03/08/13” was released on March 8, 2013 by the USCIS.  

Employers should immediately start to use this new Form I-9 and discontinue using earlier Form I-9s with other expiration dates. USCIS is providing a 60-day grace period, which ends on May 7, 2013, before it is mandatory to use the new form. The new Form I-9 does not mean that current employees should fill out a new Form I-9. It only means that you should use the new Form I-9 for new hires or re-hires (which normally does not include employees being recalled from a layoff).

Section 1 of the Form I-9 must still be completed on or before the employee’s first day of work, but not prior to him/her accepting the position. Employers continue to be responsible for ensuring that Section 1 is completed properly by the employee.

Here are some important aspects of the new Form I-9:

1.             Biggest change – It is 2 pages, which should make it easier to fill out. Page 1 is Section 1 while page 2 is Sections 2 and 3.

2.             Section 1 adds boxes for the employee to list their email address and telephone number. However, this is optional though the Form I-9 does not state such, only the instructions.

3.             Section 1 no longer asks for “Maiden name” rather asks for “Other Names Used (if any)”.

4.             Section 1 adds a data field for the employee to list their I-94 Admissions number and foreign passport number and country of issuance as an alternative to the A Number if the employee is only authorized to work rather a lawful permanent resident or U.S. Citizen.

5.             Uses a signature box for an employee to sign in Section 1, rather than the previous confusing signature line.

6.             According to USCIS, it improves the instructions for filling out the I-9. We would agree and hope employers do too.

7.             The employer must now write in the employee’s name at the top of the section. As previously required, the employer must fill in the employee’s first date of employment, although the form also notes exemptions. This note is directed at temporary staffing agencies who may enter the first day the employee was placed in a job pool (as opposed to waiting for actual placement), and to recruiters and referrers for a fee who do not enter the employee’s first date of employment.

8.             In Section 2 instructions, it explains:

a.             when a receipt is an acceptable document;

b.             how the 3-day rule works for completing the I-9 by the employer (the so-called Monday-Thursday rule).

9.             Section 2 clarifies the use of acceptable documents, “List A OR List B AND List C” though we still assume that some employers will illegally overdocument by filling out information in all lists under the philosophy – “more is better.”

10.          Changes title of Section 3 to “Reverification and Rehires” from “Updating and Reverification.” This change could lead to confusion on whether name changes need to be updated. The instructions say yes.

11.          It does not change acceptable documents in Lists A, B or C.

The revised Form I-9 can be downloaded at www.uscis.gov/i-9.  You can find additional information on the USCIS's I-9 Central web page at www.uscis.gov/I-9Central or in the Handbook for Employers, also located at www.uscis.gov/i-9. The Handbook contains examples of most any document an employee may produce for I-9 verification purposes.

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*Bruce E. Buchanan is an attorney at the Nashville Office of Siskind Susser, P.C.  He represents individuals and employers in all aspects of immigration law, with an emphasis on employer immigration compliance, as well as employers in employment/labor law matters. Mr. Buchanan writes a blog on employer immigration compliance located at http://blogs.ilw.com/immigrationcompliance/and is a contributor toThe I-9 and E-Verify Blog (http://www.lawlogix.com/electronic-i9/) and Employment Law Strategist. He may be reached at bbuchanan@visalaw.com or (615) 345-0266.

Originally from England, Kate Tucker earned her J.D. from William and Mary College of Law in 2001. She is licensed to practice in Tennessee and her primary practice areas include business immigration and employment law. Ms. Tucker may be reached at ktucker@kramer-rayson.com or (865) 525-5184.