The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a newly revamped and reformatted Form I-9, along with corresponding instructions and M-274 Handbook for Employers. The new form, with revision date “(Rev. 03/08/13) N,” must be used effective May 8th, after which date employers should no longer submit forms bearing the revision dates (Rec. 08/07/09) Y or (Rev. 02/02/09) N. Enforcement of Form I-9 compliance is at an all-time high, and employers should be alert to issues that arise during I-9 audits. Ah, the joys of the regulatory state.
The most notable change to the new Form I-9 is that it is now two pages instead of one. It also asks for additional information, including employees’ foreign passport information (if applicable), telephone and email address, and first day of employment.
The new instructions accompanying the latest revised I-9 are intended to be clearer (which is not a high bar) and should be made available to employees as they complete Section 1 of the Form (unless the employer completes the “Preparer or Translator Certification,” in which case the employer may complete Section 1 on the employee’s behalf) after the employee accepts the offer of employment but no later than the end of the employee’s first day of work. Be aware of form dates: USCIS or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may compare the date of the employee’s signature in Section 1 to the date of the employer’s signature in Section 2 as an indicator of compliance.
Employees may elect not to provide their email addresses or telephone numbers in Section 1 (in which case they should mark the field “N/A”), but are required to provide their Social Security numbers if the employer is registered with E-Verify.
The new M-274 employer handbook offers updated guidance to on recordkeeping requirements. For instance, employers may be able to streamline their paper files by following guidelines on scanning and securely storing electronic copies of original Forms.
The revised I-9 Form and instructions are available here: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.
The M-274 Handbook for Employers is available here: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/m-274.pdf.